“Where is the check?” asked Francis Guerrero, the chairman of the Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities Agency.
It’s a $400,000 check from Guam Regional Medical City, which represents the most recent installment on the $1.5 million that GRMC must contribute to CAHA in support of the arts on Guam.
“We don’t have the check,” CAHA administrative officer Sherrie Barcinas said during the board meeting Thursday afternoon at the Senator Antonio M. Palomo Guam Museum and Chamorro Educational Facility.
Barcinas told board members that the latest installment check wasn't sent to CAHA as was previously done. The check was delivered to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.
“We sent a staff member to go pick it up,” said Barcinas, but “they handed him a copy of the check, not the actual check.” And the check from GRMC was not made out to CAHA, but to "Percentage of the Arts," said Barcinas. “So we actually don’t have the check physically.”
“Chase that down to find out what happened,” the board chairman said.
'FestPac is a core mandate'
In response to a request for comment, the lieutenant governor’s office issued a brief statement saying the check was being set aside to help cover the cost of sending Guam’s delegation to the 2020 Festival of Pacific Arts in Honolulu. GovGuam plans to send a 100-member delegation to the festival.
“FestPac is a core mandate of CAHA,” Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio stated.
He is working with Sen. Kelly Marsh, CAHA's legislative oversight chairperson, on writing legislation to allocate the $400,000 for the Honolulu trip.
On June 6, Marsh introduced Bill 158-35 to appropriate $400,000 from the Tourist Attraction Fund to pay for travel and lodging arrangements for the Guam delegation. The plan now is to use the GRMC check instead.
Past payments for CAHA
GRMC is required to make the payments because it is the beneficiary of tax exemptions granted by the qualifying certificate it received from the Guam Economic Development Authority.
As a qualifying certificate recipient, the private hospital must make a fixed contribution to the arts under Public Law 31-118, often called the “Percentage for the Arts” law.
The law requires a project developer who receives the tax exemptions to allocate 1% of the construction cost to CAHA. In GRMC’s case, the $150 million spent on building the private hospital required a $1.5 million contribution to the arts.
GRMC made an initial contribution of $200,000 for artwork now displayed throughout the hospital.
The terms of a February 2016 agreement between CAHA, the private hospital and GEDA required eight additional payments of $100,000, with the last payment due by January 2018.
In addition, the agreement requires another $500,000 “for programs, goods and services” to “benefit local arts and culture.”
At the start of this year, GRMC was running behind and had made only three of the required eight $100,000 contributions. Another $100,000 contribution was made in February.
All of the previous checks were sent directly to CAHA.