Governor and Delegate Call for Additional Help from Federal Agencies | Guam News

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Federal government departments with substantial interests in U.S. territories again met with island governors and congressional delegates through the Department of the Interior’s Interagency Group on Island Affairs.

During the meeting, which took place on Wednesday local time, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero shared a host of issues Guam faces, including those that were “perennial and new.”

“As you can imagine, as an island region, we are highly dependent on the relationship we have with the federal government on federal-territorial issues important to our communities, especially when as a territory we are included or excluded from policies and legislation by the Administration or Congress,” Leon Guerrero said.

Leon Guerrero told the agencies that Guam was beginning to use federal pandemic aid provided by Congress through several assistance programs, such as a massive infrastructure bill. The governor said the island is “on the verge” of making significant investments that will help the local economy recover from the ongoing COVID-19 global health emergency.

The governor said he “remains optimistic” about the recovery of tourism, the island’s main economic driver. Until then, the island is using time to make upgrades, so make sure the island is ready. Upgrades and renovations are underway at the airport, seaport and roads. Additionally, broadband infrastructure is being improved so that residents can work or study from home.

Of the. Michael San Nicolas also testified during the session. He asked the group to support the identification of federal lands in Guam that would be suitable for grazing livestock – a strategy he hopes will reduce local reliance on food imports.

“It is essential that we make strong investments in local agricultural sustainability. This will create jobs and opportunities for farms, ranches and businesses that produce, store, process, market and distribute food locally and regionally” , did he declare.

The infrastructure package also includes support for Guam’s public transit system, which San Nicolas says is currently experiencing a “very deplorable state” of bus shelters.

“As a public transit wasteland, Guam asks that special attention and support be given to Guam in our search for public bus resources and facilities made available in the (infrastructure package),” said he declared.

The governor asked agencies to look at programmatic disparities for other parts of the infrastructure package, particularly with how territorial funding is determined for improving internet access and grants to airports.

GMH Project

The construction of a Guam Memorial Hospital replacement was also discussed, with Leon Guerrero showing his gratitude to the White House for allowing US bailout funds to be used for construction costs.

“While the hospital is still standing, the pandemic has amplified the need to deal with the situation now, as each day brings it closer to its breaking point,” she said. “For this reason, I remain committed to setting aside ARP funds to invest in the construction of a new hospital. I want to again thank the administration, the OIA, and the Treasury for their unwavering support of this initiative, which specifically included language in the Treasury guidelines to this end. “

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