Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 20 Apr 2019 12am

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    Friday, April 19, 2019-3:06:55A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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CUC discusses payment options with CPA, CHCC

COMMONWEALTH Utilities Corp. Executive Director Gary Camacho said CUC and the Commonwealth Ports Authority are still discussing CPA’s $17.6 million in accumulated unpaid utility bills, and has also met with the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. to discuss its delinquent account.

The discussions with CPA, he said, include a proposed lease agreement under which the CPA board will provide CUC control and access to the 46 wells located at CPA property for 40 years in exchange for $10 million in outstanding water charges.

“We believe we are getting into the final stage in trying to deal with some of the disputed accounts,” Camacho told the CUC board during its recent meeting.

He said CUC administrative officer Betty Terlaje and CUC deputy executive director for water and wastewater William Gilmore have been working closely with CPA Executive Director Chris Tenorio and the CPA comptroller to resolve the issue.

Camacho also said he, Terlaje, CUC accounting staff and CUC board vice chair Weston Thomas Deleon Guerrero met with Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. officials to discuss the $26 million, including penalties, that CHCC owes CUC.

Camacho said CHCC can only pay $71,000 of its $400,000 monthly utilities usage.

CUC and CHCC, he added, may ask the Legislature to appropriate funding. “Otherwise, we may end up pushing this to our ratepayers,” Camacho said.

CUC board member Ignacio Perez said delinquent government agencies should be given a monthly payment scheme option.

In addition, CUC should install prepaid meters at government agencies to regulate their power usage, he added.

For his part, Deleon Guerrero said the monthly payment proposed by CHCC is “not reassuring” since the hospital management also pointed out that CHCC can only pay $71,000 if it is provided by the central government which has recently announced a revenue shortfall.

“Yes, we have compassion and and I feel sorry for them so we have to help them pay us,” Deleon Guerrero added. “But I don’t know what other recourse we have other than the court, and I’m not sure that we would like to go that route. But unless we lobby the Legislature [to appropriate funding] I don’t see us getting that money.”