The Government of Guam’s contract with Canton Construction Corp., the company providing maintenance services for the Hagåtña Pool and the Northern Region Sports Complex Pool, ends on May 8, but the government has the option to renew it. for an additional year depending on the availability of funds. .
“Based on the feedback I received in a recent monitoring hearing, the ministry’s relationship with our contractor is under review,” said Richard Ybanez, director of DPR. “I will make a comment after this review. “
For more than a year, the local swimming community and residents who use the island’s public pools have expressed frustration with the poor condition and repeated pool closures.
In May 2018, the government signed a $ 660,000 contract with Canton Construction to provide “full operation and maintenance services for the swimming pools of the Department of Parks and Recreation”, according to the call for tenders from the Department of Parks and Recreation. government.
Services included the operation and maintenance of all swimming pools, pool pumps, filters and other mechanical equipment required to maintain safe water quality and operational standards.
According to the offer, obtained through a request from the Freedom of Information Act, Canton Construction agreed that it would “comply” with the scope of services which included: inspection and preparation of all engines and pumps in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure the most efficient operation; inspection and preparation of filter tanks for daily operation and recirculation supply; and perform water testing and maintain records as required by the Department of Public Health and Human Services, the Government of Guam and / or the Environmental Protection Agency of Guam.
FOIA’s response was incomplete as the Post provided only 11 of the 39 pages of the tender signed in May 2018 by Robert Kono, who was then the Acting Administrator of the General Service Agency, and the township general manager, Bobby Yong.
The contract also required the supplier to perform a daily documented safety check of the pool’s mechanical and electrical systems to include water quality, maintain and operate filtering equipment in accordance with DPHSS requirements and manufacturer recommendations. and ensure that water quality standards are met and that all mechanical systems are operable.
Canton also needed to recruit a certified pool operator to oversee pool management and maintenance operations. This person had to be certified by the National Swimming Pool Foundation or an equivalent recognized certification body in the United States. The credentials of this operator had to be presented to DPR before the opening of the swimming pool.
The Guam Daily Post requested a copy of this certification, but Ybanez did not respond to the survey at the time of publication.
The government’s contract with Canton also stipulated that DPR or the supplier could shut down swimming pools in an emergency, whether the emergency was caused by equipment failure or other causes beyond the supplier’s control.
Payment of the fine is unclear
The contract stated that the seller would pay the government $ 200 per day until the RPD’s pools were reopened for normal operations if the pools are closed for causes under the seller’s control and / or for which the seller is negligent. and for which more than a day is required to perform repairs and / or restore the DPR pools to normal operation.
Ybanez did not respond to the Post’s inquiries as to whether Canton has paid the government for months of pool closures in the past two years that he has maintained the pools.
“Launch the entrepreneur and replace him,” said Guam Swimming Federation president Ed Ching. “They obviously don’t know how to run a swimming pool. The person in charge does not know what he is doing or he is defrauding the government.
He said the swimming community, especially the young people who train for competitions, are the ones who are suffering with no place to train and hone their skills.
“The whole contact is questionable and if it’s valid, especially if there’s an option clause, the whole validity of that thing is in question,” Ching said.
As for Ybanez’s response about examining the relationship between the DPR and the entrepreneur, “It’s a response from a politician. A lateral response.
On January 16, the Guam Environmental Protection Agency tested the Hagåtña swimming pool and determined that the chlorine levels were nearly three times the acceptable levels. The pool also tested positive for coliforms, a common bacteria found in feces, which resulted in its closure. The Hagåtña swimming pool needs repair or replacement of the filtration system.
On January 31, the Department of Public Health and Human Services, Environmental Health Division, dispatched inspectors to the Dededo pool. According to the inspector’s report, “the water in the pool was found to be cloudy and greenish in color. The Dededo swimming pool was closed after the inspection.