Each village gets to decide how to use $100,000 in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds for beautification projects, whether to buy heavy-duty equipment or fix park bathrooms.
Mayors decided to equally divide $1.9 million between the island’s 19 villages out of the total $2.5 million for islandwide beautification efforts, which is meant to supplement village recycling and beautification initiatives.
All this is part of the $17 million in total ARPA funds that Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said she’s allocating for villages.
Inalåhan, for example, plans to use the $100,000 “primarily for the demolition of four derelict homes” in the southern village, Mayor Anthony Chargualaf said on Monday.
Sinajana Mayor Robert Hofmann said they plan to use the funding to buy an estimated $92,000 4×4 compact utility tractor with attachments and implements such as a bucket, blower and front and rear grass cutter.
The village also plans to buy an estimated $8,000 scissor lift, or an aerial work platform.
“This is how we see the best use for the long term, and would help keep Sinajana clean, maintained. Heavy equipment isn’t cheap,” Hofmann, vice president of the Mayors Council of Guam, said.
For Dededo, the plan is to repair recreational areas around the village, Mayor Melissa Savares said.
Piti Mayor Jesse Alig said his village plans to use the funding for the repair of restrooms at Santos Park and Piti’s baseball field, as well as to further clean up roads of overgrown vegetation.
“The mayors have different plans. Some of them want to purchase a grass cutter, some want to get a trailer to go around the village and pick up garbage and beautify the villages,” MCOG Executive Director Angel Sablan.
Sablan has been compiling the mayors’ plan submissions for their $100,000 funding.
Some villages like Mangilao, according to Mayor Allan Ungacta, are still discussing their funding plan with their respective Municipal Planning Council.
$1.14M for new trucks
Part of the governor’s allocation is $1.14 million for the purchase of one new heavy-duty truck for each village so they can carry out their programs and services faster and more efficiently.
But some mayors do not want a heavy-duty 4×4 truck, but instead are pushing for two regular pickup trucks since they do not have rugged terrain in their villages, Sablan said.
“The price of two regular trucks is almost equal to one big 4×4. It makes sense,” he said.
The $17 million in total ARP funds for villages also include $1.38 million to lease and purchase heavy equipment for village maintenance, repair FEMA-approved typhoon damages and provide insurance for various village facilities.
“We are working closely with the Bureau of Budget and Management Research … to get things rolling,” Sablan said.