Guam- The Mayors Council of Guam has given the Department of Public Works (DPW) its blessing to move forward in amending a law that is supposed to mitigate flooding problems in the island’s villages.
Public Law 32-53 was authored by Senators Tina Muna Barnes and Dennis Rodriguez Jr. and passed by Governor Eddie Calvo in July. It allocates $3.9 million from the Territorial Highway Fund so DPW can work on flood mitigation projects.
However, DPW Deputy Director Jessie Palican tells PNC an assessment by the agency revealed that over $2 million set aside for the projects would be better spent on purchasing maintenance equipment with support from the mayors and vice mayors. He says he already met with Barnes and Rodriguez on amending the law. However, they needed the approval of the Mayors Council to proceed. Palican notes the equipment will be useful to address flooding situations and other road maintenance concerns.
“It’s a win-win situation for the Mayors Council as well as Public Works because then we have the adequate equipment,” said Palican. “Especially during typhoons, when we operate on the rental and just one back hoe from our department. This is a big plus and we’re looking to get a lot out of this in terms of the $2 million. We’re looking at getting more bang for out buck on this.”
Palican adds the cost of the equipment, where it will be stored and other procurement details will be forthcoming once they prepare to put it to bid in the coming months. He says the first goal is amending the law.