Lack of funding stalls landfill expansion plan

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Lou Leon Guerrero addressing the Guam Women's Chamber of Commerce.

Guam – Layon landfill is running out of space, hence the need for its immediate expansion. The Guam Solid Waste Authority (GSWA) projects both existing Cells 1 and 2 to reach maximum capacity by next summer.

During a tour of the Layon landfill with top government officials, GSWA receiver operations manager Chace Anderson stressed the need to begin the construction of a third cell as soon as possible.

So, what’s the hold up?

“Part of the issue that I know the contractors are waiting for is, what’s the source of funding?” Anderson said.

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said the administration is exploring several options before resorting to another bond borrowing.

The construction of Layon landfill in Malojloj was funded with some portions of proceeds from the more than $200-million twin bonds issued by the Camacho administration in 2009, after the federal court placed Guam’s solid waste system under federal receivership in 2008.

Addressing the current funding needs for the landfill expansion requires a review of current financing plans, which the governor said “do not necessarily” involve “just going out on the bond market or borrowing.”

Leon Guerrero said the government is likely explore federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Having been the island’s lone designated garbage disposal facility since Sept. 1, 2011, the roughly 22-acre landfill with 2 cells are filling up fast,  with only 33 percent remaining as of Aug. 31, 2018.

The current total cost of the Layon landfil including infrastructure construction, maintenance, and equipment is well over $80 million.

However, the total cost of capital spending by the receiver as of Jan. 31 has racked upwards of $174 million, with about $76.4 million dedicated to the closure of Ordot Dump.

According to Anderson, the additional spending required for the completion of a third cell is attributable to infrastructure development, such as roads, drainage systems and power lines.

However, such amount accounts only for an initial development cost that would be used for future cells as well.

 

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.