Hidden costs of troop buildup questioned
Friday, 29 January 2010 00:45
by Zita Y. Taitano | Variety News Staff
THE weeklong legislative effort to provide the community an opportunity to further respond to the military’s draft environmental impact statement continued into the its fourth day yesterday with the deputy director at the Department of Public Works raising new questions.
Andy Leon Guerrero expressed, among other things, concerns over the impact of a student population increase projected at 6,000.
Leon Guerrero told lawmakers that would translate to a need for 53 new school buses. He worried on how the soaring costs were to be accommodated.
The acting director said new buses cost approximately $160,000 each, equating to nearly $8.5 million in order to accommodate the increase.
In addition to more salary and benefits for drivers to man the new buses, energy and maintenance were further points Leon Guerrero said needed to be more thoroughly addressed.
“Our fuel cost estimates will rise by certain amounts and we will need additional monies for parts and supplies,” he added.
Leon Guerrero also said new construction projects will challenge DPW to find enough staff to ensure compliance with local and federal codes.
Larry Perez, who will be stepping down as director of the agency next month, inadvertently raised the eyebrows of one lawmaker when reviewing a section of the military impact study concerning a possible new road in Upper Tumon.
Vice speaker BJ Cruz was caught by surprise upon learning of a proposed road that would connect the popular tourist locale Two Lovers’ Point with Route 3.
Cruz queried Perez on how the land would be required to construct such a road. Perez only responded by saying it is an issue they are working on.
In response to queries by Sen. Tom Ada, Perez insisted on the need for building the Tiyan Parkway, connecting Route 8 and with Route 1. He said tDPWis working with Tiyan landowners and the Guam International Airport Authority.
“We’re attempting collaboratively with all the owners to establish a roadway but we want to represent that it is a vital roadway or connector road for the driving public and minimize congestion on route 8, route 16 and route 1,” he said.