GEDA: No longer operating at a loss

GEDA: Guam Economic Development Authority board members in a meeting in August in the GEDA conference room in Tamuning. The board also met Thursday. David Castro/The Guam Daily Post

The Guam Economic Development Authority is no longer operating at a loss, Chief Executive Officer announced Melanie Mendiola during Thursday’s GEDA board meeting.

“In fact, we are reporting a net income position of $15,195,” she told the board.

Mendiola said, through the diligence of the board’s Real Property Committee and GEDA’s Real Property Division, the agency was able to realize about $700,000 through the negotiation of a lease with AT&T.

“The bigger picture is Guam Ancestral Lands realized $4.9 million toward their mission,” Mendiola said, of serving ancestral landowners. The Guam Ancestral Lands Commission had issued AT&T a $5.7 million bill for an unpaid lease of one of the commission's properties at Tanguisson Point in Dededo. GEDA manages the property on behalf of GALC.

Mendiola said GEDA knew it was facing a “fiscal cliff” this year so the agency did several things to be creative fiscally, including subleasing a portion of its office to the Hagåtña Restoration and Redevelopment Authority, which brought in an additional $25,000.

She said GEDA also made an effort to curb expenses.

“It was a little bit of everything,” she said.

GEDA's leases were “holding steady” for the fiscal year, she told the board.

Just three months ago, Mendiola said the authority was continuing to “track a loss.”

It was the third year GEDA would be operating at a loss she said at the time.

During a discussion on the budget, GEDA board Chairman David John made a motion to eliminate stipends for board members in 2020. The motion was passed. Mendiola suggested using the funds for education and training purposes for the GEDA staff instead.

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