Guam infrastructure aid coming slowly
Published: Jan. 16, 2010 at 2:33 PM
HAGATNA, Guam, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Guam's governor says while he supports a U.S. military buildup on the island, needed infrastructure improvements have been slow coming.
Gov. Felix Camacho told the military niche newspaper Stars and Stripes that Guam has had a tough time securing money for transportation, water, sewage landfill projects.
He says the new infrastructure will be necessary if the U.S. territory is to cope with buildup plans that could temporarily bring nearly 80,000 people to the island of 178,000 people to build a new base for 8,000 Marines to be transferred from the Japanese island of Okinawa.
"It's been very frustrating for the government," Camacho told the newspaper. "It's such a bureaucratic mess to secure funding. It's been slow to come."
Another issue is the land needed for the base. Opponents of the plans point out some of the land the U.S. military wants has been set aside by the government for a homesteading program for native Chamorro families, Stars and Stripes said.
Camacho told the newspaper a deal for the military to buy the land may put Guam in a better position to negotiate for money to improve its ailing infrastructure.