Receiver Fires Back at Sanchez on Solid Waste Financing Plan

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GBB Principal Associate David Manning calls CCU Commissioner Simon Sanchez’s comments “silly.”

Guam – The federal receiver for the island’s solid waste is defending their financing plan for post-closure care of Ordot Dump. Yesterday, CCU Commissioner Simon Sanchez took jabs at Gershman Brickner and Bratton’s proposal.

 

David Manning, principal associate for solid waste federal receivers Gershman Brickner and Bratton responded to some of the criticisms Sanchez made yesterday during a Guam Solid Waste Authority board meeting.

Sanchez said he didn’t trust GBB’s projections for cash flow because of their history with miscalculating projections by 59 percent. But that number represents both over and under projections. With regards to the closure of Ordot Dump, Sanchez says GBB’s projections were too low while the construction of Layon Landfill, GBB’s projections were too high.

 

“We were able to save a lot of money against the original estimates for the Layon Landfill and we reported that; each and every time we reported it to the court. I assume that Mr. Sanchez, along with everybody else in Guam, would be pleased that that came in at a lower cost. It’s hard to understand why anybody wouldn’t be pleased with that,” notes Manning.

So why was Ordot Dump’s closure more expensive than anticipated?

“We put a placeholder in for Ordot. Because it was eight years ago, the studies had not been done to determine how much environmental damage was out there. We said that very clearly and said that once those studies were completed, we would have to revisit that estimate and update it. And that’s what we did,” argues Manning.

In fact, while Manning says it’s true that the Fiscal Year 2022 numbers may dwindle down to about $300,000 because of the future projects that still need to be completed, the balance will go back up—something Manning points out Sanchez failed to even mention.

“That’s just silly. If you look at the projections in the GBB plan, the number does get down to a $300,000 balance in 2022 but it pops right back up after that,” Manning says. “Mr. Sanchez is weighing in on a lot of issues that he may have followed to some degree. But he has obviously not studied the details surrounding it and is offering a lot of opinions now that are not based on a very thorough understanding of the situation.”

Although the government of Guam has their own idea of how to fund the $42 million in post-closure projects, Manning argues that GBB’s version will mostly use cash that already exists or is guaranteed. GovGuam’s proposal involves borrowing money.

“We have before the court basically a plan that relies upon cash that is certain. The government of Guam proposes a plan that is based upon refinancing debt, assuming that the market conditions are adequate, are ripe to allow them to do that,” says Manning.