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Layon property controversy

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Value of landfill land questioned

ASIDE from the question of whether Section 30 bonds can be used to pay the former owners of properties where the Layon Landfill has been built, the value of the condemned 300-acre land also remains to be a subject of deliberation before the District Court of Guam.

When Superior Court Judge Alberto Lamorena III rendered a decision on Jan. 24, 2008, the court awarded more than $25 million plus interest.

The amount represented the “just compensation” for the condemned lands based on the appraisal made by Nicholas Captain, president of Captain Real Estate Group.

To date, approximately $7 million in interest has accrued on the $21.7 million balance owed. The interests continue to accrue in the amount of $110,000 per month until it is paid.

In his April 2008 appraisal report, Captain said the value of just compensation to be paid to the landowners was $3.39 million.

According to the AGO, GovGuam received a July 2010 report that Captain prepared for the trial. Without any prior warning or communication with the appraiser, the AGO learned that Captain raised his estimate of “just compensation” from $3.3 million to $5.9 million and doubled his opinion of damages to the remaining 2,700 acres from 25 percent to 50 percent.

In his April 2011 appraisal report, Captain further increased the value of just compensation from $5.9 million to $10 million and later $13.9 million. In the few days between the completion of his sworn testimony and the delivery of the April 2011 report, Captain’s just compensation figure increased by $4.5 million and by more than $10 million since his April 2008 report.

The court decided not to give weight to the bulk of Captain’s testimony due to the inconsistent figures in his multiple reports.

“The second appraisal report not only lacks many indicators of reliability relative to his revised conclusions ... [but it] also undermines the reliability of Mr. Captain’s methods and conclusions relating to his first report,” the court said, unconvinced with the explanation of the Calvo Insurance Underwriters expert.

When the former landowners – Joaquin C. Arriola, Leonard Calvo, Alfred Ysrael and Edward “Champ” Calvo – testified that just compensation should be between $185 million to $300 million, the court found that the landowners’ value estimates are high.

A professional condemnation expert, Randall Bell testified to an estimate of just compensation in the amount of $32 million.

The court has not indicated what amount or appraisal value it will consider for the just compensation.

The scheduled quarterly status conference on the consent decree compliance has been moved from May 17 to May 21 at 9:30 a.m.

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