Senator Judi Guthertz believes one way to push construction contracts out and side-step the current programmatic agreement which has caused controversy and delays, is to fall back on the 2008 PA.

“There is already a 2008 Programmatic Agreement covering such areas in effect between GovGuam and the military,” said Guthertz.

The Joint Guam Program Office and other military officials have applied pressure to wrap up the new 2010 agreement, saying that the delay is holding up more than $1 billion in projects that have already been contracted for Guam.

Senator Guthertz said that the earlier agreement, which doesn’t include the more controversial concerns, could “provide a way forward to obtain the contracting of the billion dollars worth of contracts while at the same time preserving our position on the aspects of the draft 2010 PA that has just been received which is currently under review.”

Senator Guthertz has written to Governor Eddie Baza Calvo, saying that there are plenty of sticking points which suggest that negotiations on the new agreement should not be rushed.

For one, it is a general and widespread view in Guam that the military should carry out its buildup plans  within its existing 27 percent of Guam lands, she said.

The firing range plans and other aspects of the buildup reveal a different picture and will be hard to resolve, said the lawmaker.

Guthertz made it clear that elements being negotiated in the 2010 Programmatic Agreement face opposition from herself and other legislators, but given the 2008 agreement, this need not delay existing buildup contracts.

“I am not supportive of a firing range and grenade range on Route 15 or near or in the Pagat area. I also oppose the dredging of nearly 72 acres of precious coral in Apra Harbor. I think the current PA with certain modifications can work,” Guthertz said.

The PA sets the rules for handling archaeological artifacts including human remains likely to turn up in the course of major developmental activity that is military-related.

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