Gov’s Office Says $1.5M DOI Grant Can’t Be Used To Repair DPW Buses

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Guam – Senator Tom Ada is calling on the Camacho Administraton to use an Interior Department Grant to refurbish 30 buses rather than buying 6 or 7 new buses. But The governor’s office says that would be against the federal law.

During Governor Felix Camacho’s administration, 69 new school buses were purchased for the Department of Public Works. The Governor’s office announced that they plan to buy an additional 6 to 7 new buses using  $1.5 million dollars appropriated from a Department of Interiors grant.

But Ada Chairperson on the Committee of transportation and DPW feels buying these new buses is not the solution to DPW’s bus crises.
Over the past several weeks Ada held oversight hearings for DPW’s school buses and all bus operations.  Ada says the cost of a new bus is close to $220,000.  and if DPW purchases 6 new buses, that amount will be a little over 1.5 million dollars.  He feels the money should be used wiser and to repair the existing school buses that DPW already owns.

Ada says , “We have 88 buses sitting up there at DPW, many of those can be refurbished and brought back on line for about approximately $60,000.
With $1.5 million dollars you can only purchase 6 new buses or we can refurbish and put on line 30 additional buses by repairing
the buses that are currently sitting at DPW.”

But the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff Shawn Gumataotao says due to federal law, what Ada is suggesting would be very difficult to do.  

Gumataotao says, “That money is appropriated through a federal program from the Department of Interior. 
He also adds that this congressional money will not be available until 2012. Gumataotao feels the legislature needs to find a permanent solution using local revenues.