Guam News - Guam News
Guam - The Board of Directors of the Port Authority of Guam has voted to start the process of seeking a loan of up to $15-million dollars to repair the Port's damaged wharf.
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The Board this morning [Friday] voted to authorize Port management to contact the Guam Economic Development Authority. GEDA in turn will issue a "Request for Proposals" [RFP] from loan providers.
Last October, a DoD Inspector General's report concluded that the Port's wharf is in danger of collapse.
The U.S. Maritime Administration [MARAD] controls the purse strings on roughly $100 million dollars in federal funds already allocated to the Port. The Port had hoped to use the funds for its Modernization Plan. But MARAD is considering using most of that money to build a new replacement wharf.
The Port opposes spending all of the funds on a full replacement of the wharf, at this time. They have asked MARAD to adopt a compromise plan to use about $15 million of the federal funds to shore up the wharf in order to extend its life-span for another 15 years, and then replace the wharf at a alter time. That would leave the majority of funds available to carry out the long delayed modernization plan.
MARAD has not yet made up its mind and the Port Board has decided it can not wait any longer.
At this morning's Board meeting, Port Board Chairman Dan Tydingco said "what compels us to start to move [is] .. the impact it has on our insureability .. and the increase in premiums and in addition to that its impact on our ability to get the proper funding" for the port modernization plan.
READ the Port's release on the decision in FULL below:
Board directs management to seek loan for wharf repairs
Service Life Extension to focus on damage to waterfront
Piti, Guam, March 30, 2012: The Port Authority of Guam Board of Directors today directed agency management to begin seeking financing for repairs to the waterfront.
In January 2011, the Port conducted underwater inspections of the waterfront which revealed damage to the piers from several earthquakes that occurred over the past few years. The Port Board has asked the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) to fund the repairs through the $50 Million in the Port Enterprise Fund. They also asked that the wharf repairs be “de-linked” from the Modernization Program in order to provide a faster permitting process for the Service Life Extension to the wharf. However, Port officials have previously indicated their intention to move forward with these repairs through commercial lending if their requests were denied.
The Port has not yet received a response from MARAD on this matter so the Board decided to move forward with a resolution today in order to begin the maintenance and repairs to the wharf.
The Port has four berths, adjacent to its compound, with 1,950 feet of wharf space alongside dredged depths of 28 to 35 feet. The F-3 wharf is used primarily for fishing vessels and tenants performing fishing operations while Piers F-4, F-5 and F-6 accommodates containerships and general cargo vessels and passenger ships. Most cargo ships that arrive at the Port are serviced at the F-4, F-5 or F-6 wharfs.
Port General Manager Mary C. Torres told the Board today that she is prepared to meet with the Guam Economic Development Authority next week to begin the process of the RFP for the loan.
“We are compelled to address the situation at the waterfront to assure our users, the community, our insurers and financing concerns. We don’t have the luxury of time,” Torres said.
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