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GEDA board gives the thumbs-down on golf course-to-solar farm proposal

Updated: Jul 2

 


 By Pacific Island Times News Staff


The Guam Economic Development Authority's board of directors frowns on a proposal to convert the existing municipal golf course in Dededo into a solar farm, noting the facility’s value to Guam tourism.

 

The golf course occupies a CHamoru land trust property being leased to the

Guam International Country Club Inc. The commercial lease, signed in 2014, will expire on Jan. 31, 2039.

 

Pending in the Guam legislature is Sen. Joe San Agustin's Bill 179-37, which would direct the CHamoru Land Trust Commission to revise its lease agreement with the golf operators to facilitate the implementation of a utility-level solar facility with on-site battery storage. 

 

David John, chairman of the GEDA board, made it clear that the agency “does not support the conversion of the municipal golf course designed to foster junior golf development and support Guam’s tourism infrastructure into a solar farm.”

 

Despite its lack of enthusiasm for the proposed lease switch, the board clarified that it generally supports solar energy initiatives and encourages CLTC leases to enhance infrastructure for housing and economic development.

 

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“The agency stands ready to provide assistance and expertise to facilitate these initiatives,” GEDA said in a press release.

 

The lease between the CLTC and the International Country Club contains a clause that guarantees a 10-percent escalation every five years. Officials have projected the lease to generate about $7.93 million in rental income for the Chamorro Land Trust Commission throughout the remaining lease term.

 

“The board advocates for a public-private partnership model similar to the successful one established for the Guam National Tennis Center,” the board said. “The agency played a key role in the development of the tennis center and believes that a similar approach could benefit both junior golfers and retirees in our community.”

 

Attorney General Douglas Moylan earlier testified in opposition to Bill 179-34, stressing that,“When this project was originally conceived, it was intended for community benefit, a location where island residents could recreate at an affordable cost."

 

“While there is no doubt that Guam needs additional power and that solar power has a perceived benefit to burning fossil fuels, Guam also needs recreational facilities as was the original intent for the use of this property,” he added.




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