Guam – Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz is confident the application for $25-million dollars for the Guam Museum project will be approved by the USDA and he says GovGuam does have the money to repay it.
Cruz was the main sponsor of Bill 179 which calls for the creation of a “multi-purpose cultural, convention and performing arts center and a Guam museum facility.” It was signed into law Saturday by Acting Governor Dr. Mike Cruz.
Cruz emphasized that the USDA loan that is being sought in this case is unrelated to the $103 million dollar loan recently rejected by the Governor.
At the Rotary Club of Northern Guam meeting Monday, the Vice Speaker told PNC News that the USDA has “been indicating all along that they have up to $25 million dollars and we just needed to assure them that we have a source of repayment.”
And Cruz said the money to repay it will come from funds not currently be used in the Tourist Attraction Fund. “A million and a half from the tourist attraction fund has been pledged for repayment of this loan on an annual basis,” said Cruz, adding the “loan is at three and a half percent, you can’t beat that.”
The Vice Speaker said the debt ceiling will not be affected because it is a limited obligation bond.
The Vice-Speaker also spoke about another, new measure he has introduced that would ban scuba spearfishing.
He told the Rotary Club that this bill would outlaw the use of scuba gear when spearfishing.
“We are the only pacific island left in this area, Northern Marianas, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, American Samoa most of Australia all of them,” he said, “all the Caribbean, the Mediterranean countries, all prohibit scuba night fishing and we are the only ones who don’t have that prohibition and they do it for a very specific purpose of trying to protect and maintain the sustainability of fish in the area.”
The Vice-Speaker says he’s not against fishing or fishing rights but is instead trying to promote sustainable fishing practices. “You can do free dive all you want but your not gonna go down for sixty minutes with a light at night and shoot fish while they’re asleep it’s just not fair,” he said.