Palau Superstore confirms space, parking and infrastructure
KOROR, Palau — Surangel and Sons Co. has confirmed to the Journal that the Supercenter it is building in Airai will be 122,000 square feet in total.
The property will also offer 350 parking spaces and among its infrastructure three elevators and two escalators. The escalators are a first for Palau.
Surangel Supercenter gets Toyota dealership, new and existing businesses — Marianas Business Journal (mbjguam.com)
A Toyota dealership is among the confirmed tenants of the Supercenter, through a partnership with Atkins Kroll Inc.
The AK dealership is also undertaking a $2.7 million renovation of its Toyota showroom in Guam, expected to be completed in July 2022.
More sushi for US bases
Coastal Pacific Food Distributors Inc. of Stockton, Calif., was awarded Nov. 16 CHamoru standard time an $8,91 million firm-fixed-price, requirements-type contract for in-store delicatessen and bakery resale operations “to include sushi, where applicable,” for 24 commissaries in the Defense Commissary Agency’s Pacific Area of Guam, Japan, and South Korea. The award is for a 24-month base performance period beginning on Jan. 4 and includes three one-year option periods. If all option periods are exercised, the contract will be completed Jan. 3, 2027. The Defense Commissary Agency, Resale Contracting Division, Fort Lee, Va., made the award, for which four proposals were received, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Defense. Coastal Pacific says on its website it is the “second largest worldwide military distributor of food and related products.”
Coastal Pacific is the parent company of O-kizushi, which began doing business in 2007. O-kizushi has a restaurant at the NCTS Navy Exchange on Rte. 3, and operates14 sushi kiosks in a variety of formats on military bases in Guam, Japan, and Korea as well as the U.S. mainland, according to Journal files.
Beautification task force reports progress on stray dogs, dumping and more
Guam Animals in Need told the Journal estimates of the island’s stray dog population put the number at about 30,000, which is an increase. Additionally, some of the strays move in packs.
Speaking at the Islandwide Beautification Task Force meeting on Nov. 16, Chelsa Muna-Brecht, director of the Guam Department of Agriculture said the department has hired a veterinarian – Mariana Turner – who is experienced in “high volume spay and neuter,” as well as two animal control officers. The animal control position is still vacant, she said. Additionally, Muna-Brecht said the department is drafting a Memorandum of Understanding with GAIN so that it can participate in the spay and neuter and build new kennels at its Yigo facility.
Acting governor and Lt. Governor Joshua F. Tenorio said, “We are planning a community event to focus on spay and neuter.”
Sen. Sabina F. Perez spoke about Public Law 36-61, which expands the capabilities of government agencies to deter and enforce dumping. Perez said the bill distinguishes between illegal dumping and littering. In the first two weeks of December government agencies personnel will be trained on enforcement and citation. “There’s the possibility of an e-citation in the future,” Tenorio said. Aside from a message to violators, Tenorio said searching trash to identify violators should be possible. “With all these tools that the statute has, that’s certainly my vision.”
He said searching trash was “not unprecedented in the past.” Perez said of the law, “It expands to the use of funds to purchase supplies,” such as cameras. David R. Duenas, public information officer for the Guam Bureau of Statistics and Plans, said in the virtual meeting’s chat group that a public information campaign is also planned.
As to progress on universal garbage collection and linking costs to utility payments, Tenorio said, “There’s been a bunch of communication with [the Guam] Solid Waste [Authority].” The authority has seen a reduction in revenue, he said, due to the lack of business from tourism, he said and needs funding support for its operations. “The governor is definitely prioritizing that,” he said.
Bill 115-36, which Perez authored would include garbage collection and disposal to the responsibilities of landlords in the Guam Landlord and Tenant Rental Act of 2018.
Other issues discussed included the UOG Center for Island Sustainability’s campaign to promote reusable bag usage – taking place at Guam supermarkets between 7.30 a.m. and 8.30 a.m., renovation of various gyms and ball fields in the villages, and the renovation and restoration of the Inalajan Pool – which will also improve the flow of water in and out of the pool and flooding at various sites in Guam.
The next meeting of the task force is Dec. 14.
Biden’s infrastructure bill funding to roll out
President Joseph R. Biden signed the $1.2 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law on Nov. 16, CHamoru standard time.
The law will cover funding for transport – roads, airports, bridges and electric vehicle charging among its provisions, as well as water-piping and broadband. Some of the funding will be awarded as grants through a competitive process.
What Guam expects to receive includes close to $100 million for roads, $11 million for public transportation, and $25 million to improve access to broadband internet to the more than 50,000 Guam residents who lack access, according to the Democratic Party of Guam.
The Northern Mariana Islands “will see nearly $24 million through the Territorial Highway Program over the five-year period. Another $7 million is expected to go to the Marianas public transit system based on formula funding alone, according to Gregorio “Kilili” Sablan, the NMI’s delegate Congress, who issued a release Nov. 5 as the bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives.
The NMI will be eligible to compete for $7.5 billion for road projects. Other funding expected is about $30 million for the Commonwealth Ports Authority, $24 million for water infrastructure, and “at least $25 million to help improve broadband services,” Sablan said.
Claims of fishy business at regional council
Questionable expenditures of $1,237,671 by Wespac, the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, were among the audit findings the Inspector General of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released Nov. 10, according to Gregorio “Kilili” Camacho Sablan, the Northern Mariana Islands delegate to Congress. “In addition to the $1.2 million in questioned costs, the Inspector General found inadequate documentation that goods and services were delivered by vendors and reported competitive procurements were not followed. The audit particularly cited a sole-source contract of $345,526 by the Commonwealth’s Department of Lands and Natural Resources for a fishing vessel and training services,” Sablan said in a Nov. 13 release.
Wespac is one of eight regional fishery management councils established by Congress in 1976. The areas it oversees are Guam, the NMI, various remote island areas in the Pacific, Hawaii and American Samoa.
In other fishing news, through funding from the Pacific State Marine Fisheries Commission, the Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources of the Department of Agriculture is mailing 465 relief checks totaling approximately $988,803 to local fishers. The money is part of an initial batch of CARES Act Fisheries Relief funding, which supports commercial fishing and associated activities that have been negatively affected by COVID-19, according to a Nov. 16 release from the Office of the Governor. mbj