Despite funding challenges, Saipan Mayor Donald Flores disclosed that many of the municipality's programs and projects are succeeding.
Flores, who was yesterday's guest speaker at the weekly Saipan Rotary Club meeting at Hyatt Regency Saipan, said one of the successful projects is the recently concluded July 4th Liberation Day.
Flores said because of funding constraints, the municipality initially planned to call off the traditional celebration, but after receiving support from several partners and the community, the festivities went well as expected.
Flores reported that the Liberation Day festivities generated $29,208 compared to expenses of $27,711.
He specifically recognized KKMP for its generous support in covering expenses related to entertainment, advertisement, and documenting the celebration. For the first time, the liberation festivity was held alcohol- and tobacco-free, he added.
Last Monday, Flores also shared that a meeting took place between his office staff and the contractor for the animal control shelter in Lower Base.
Construction of the much-anticipated dog kennels is targeted to start this month. Once completed, the municipality will be able to open the kennel for full operation. Two weeks ago, he shared that the Division of Environmental Quality also approved the waste water disposal system plan for the project. The dog control program was established many years ago but was not enforced due to lack of funding.
The municipality, he said, is also gearing toward the street numbering system project in collaboration with the Department Public Works. The street numbering system is a requirement of law under the municipality.
“We will be reviewing Saipan Local Law Nos. 5-6 and 11-3 to see what we can do to bring the process of assigning addresses with street numbers. Though the task of naming streets on Saipan was completed years ago, we still need to assign numbers to homes, business buildings, structures, etc,” said Flores.
Besides the above projects, Flores said his office is also assisting the community in removing scrap metal from their private property. Unfortunately, the lack of more equipment to do the task is hampering the municipality in this project. But he promised to revive the service once equipment is identified.
Flores also revealed that his office has also met with members of a professional baseball team from Korea and discussed their interest in making Saipan their spring pre-season training site. This professional baseball team currently makes arrangements to fly its players from Korea to Arizona for its pre-season training.
“According to the members of the team whom we met earlier this year, Saipan is a preferred destination because it is closer to Korea, the weather is perfect for training, it would be cheaper to bring their players to Saipan than it is to Arizona, among other reasons. We believe we must do everything within our powers to make it possible for this and maybe other teams to come to Saipan for spring training,” he said, adding that the municipality is also planning to develop a new baseball field in the near future.
Plans to seek federal and local funding support for the construction of a nature trail and developing new sites were also bared by the mayor yesterday.