Who owes who at Industrial Park, tenants ask?
Tenants at the Daniel Inouye Industrial Park, better known as the Tafuna Industrial Park, have raised with the Commerce Department the issue of the government owing them money. These tenants say that they have been unable to collect these funds, according to DOC’s FY 2014 first quarter performance report covering Oct. 1- Dec. 31, 2013.
Over the years park tenants, as well as other businesses, have complained to lawmakers the government has come after them for rent while ASG has yet to pay their outstanding debts. Tenants and non-tenants alike have tried to offset what ASG owes them by foregoing payments due to the government, but that has not come to any successful conclusion.
In the first quarter report, DOC says it brings to “light problems and issues” tenants have experienced in the past with payments owed to them by ASG, with most of these payments still unpaid.
“Several tenants have provided documentation verifying ASG owing them huge sums of money and these same tenants have obligated their companies to sign over these monies towards payment for their arrears and it’s an option that has proven to be suitable for both ASG and our industrial park tenants with this particular circumstance,” the report says.
Additionally, a coordinated effort has provided the means to discuss outstanding arrears with tenants and to come to a mutual understanding and agreement as to how they will address their financial obligations.
With regard to new leases, the report says that toward the end of 2013, new leases with GHC Reid Inc., were finalized for their water plant manufacturing and distribution center.
A new recycling plant for plastics and aluminum for the company will also be operated out of three lots, the report says, adding that it will also be used for vehicle and container storage both of which will be monitored by the Project Notification & Review System (PNRS) and other agencies.
“This undertaking will allow GHC Reid to occupy lots that have been unoccupied for many years,” it says.
DOC went on to say it anticipates drafting several other leases for new tenants once approved by the governor and proposed activities vary from auto services to heavy duty recycling, an important service to the community.
“The importance of the increase in new tenants moves the American Samoa Government towards one of its important goals for the industrial park, and that is full occupancy which in turn generates more revenue for our local government,” DOC said.
The report further reveals that the lack of security, especially over the weekend, has been a longstanding problem, and the park land has been used as a dumping ground for solid waste and other debris.
To alleviate this problem, DOC “proposes and recommends” the need for full scale monitoring by a local security agency after hours and especially on weekends. In addition, it recommends allowing industrial park staff a 24-hour pass for its truck to be able to patrol after hours and on weekends.
“The immediate response to the security issue, until DOC is able to hire a security company, is to provide this service and we will be able to secure the industrial park after working hours and on weekends,” it says.
Many tenants of the industrial park have also complained about the lack of security of the park after hours and have voiced these same concerns over the years with the government. The lack of security has resulted in many tenants hiring their own security officers.
The report also revealed that DOC recently completed the construction of a security chain-link fence about 100 feet long to secure its own office at the industrial park as a preventive measure from several attempted break-ins that have occurred in the past, one of which was successful.
DOC has an office building at the industrial park and the report says the director plans to use this facility as a ‘satellite’ office that will provide all the services now offered at the A.P. Lutali Executive Office Building in Utulei to residents living in the Western District.