Sanchez & Won Pat Say Fena Transfer Will Mean Lower Water Rates For All
Guam – CCU Chairman Simon Sanchez and Speaker Judi Won Pat say they would like to see the Navy’s Fena water system transferred over to GWA to operate free of charge. They say it makes no sense to have two separate water systems on one small island.
“If the military’s gonna charge us to buy their system then when we turn around and sell water to them we’re gonna have to charge them for the cost of buying the system that’s where it doesn’t make sense,” said Sanchez. The CCU Chairman is talking about a federal law that was passed a few years ago that allows the Navy to transfer it’s Fena water system to GovGuam but only if it sells it to GovGuam. That same law also alludes to the possibility trading Fena to GovGuam for the money the federal government owes GovGuam for compact impact funding. However both Sanchez and Speaker Won Pat say Fena should be transferred to GovGuam free of charge and compact impact reimbursements should be paid separately “What I don’t want to see however is this idea of well we’re going to give it to you but then we want to give it to you in lieu maybe of other debts such as the compact impacts,” said Speaker Won Pat adding, “that’s a totally separate debt and I’d like to just steer away from that.”
However, to steer away from this the federal law has to be changed. “It’s going to be incumbent of course of our delegate in Washington really to go to bat for the people of Guam,” said Won Pat. The Speaker says she will take this issue up with the Congresswoman when they meet next week.
Both Won Pat and Sanchez say that a unified system makes more sense and will cost both civilian and military customers less money. “I think Captain Shepherd put it well. In San Diego and Pearl Harbor they’re just a customer that can happen on Guam,” said Sanchez.
Speaker Won Pat says she is happy that Admiral Bolivar responded quickly to her letter and that the Admiral is so open to meeting with Guam’s leaders to find alternatives to the Navy’s 40 percent water rate hike.