Having outgrown their facility which has had plumbing and security issues, the search for a new home for the Veterans Affairs Office is underway as they anticipate moving out by the new fiscal year.
For years, the Veterans Affairs Office has been located in Asan at a two-story, 15,000 square foot building owned by the Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority. While the VA and GHURA have an MOU in place which allows the VA office to occupy the building rent-free, VA Director Fred Bordallo says space is getting tight.
“So with the budget that’s coming up in FY 2020, I have just been informed that we are being given a $715,000 budget which is a real good increase for our organization. So with the projected increase in staff, we have some critical positions to fill. We certainly need space, especially since we are adding in another veteran’s service representative because we are down just to two and I want to add a third one,” Bordallo said.
Bordallo says that moves are being made to establish a Veterans Center as envisioned by the local leaders. He says they are exploring various sites in the central area of the island for their new office. With the next fiscal year to begin in October, Bordallo says they have presented their office space requirements in hopes of beginning to transition into a new space by then.
But will it be rent-free? Bordallo says his discussions about a new facility possibly shared by other GovGuam agencies could mean the costs are also shared. He says another possibility is using a government-owned facility which would mean the VA would not need to work about setting aside a budget for rent. Bordallo points out that nothing has been set in stone but a new facility would be beneficial to maintaining veterans’ confidentiality.