Oct. 10, 2000
NMHC asked to beef up private financing for homes
There is a need for the Northern Marianas Housing Corporation to evaluate a mix of mechanisms in order to beef up its efforts in opening up doors of financing opportunities for both public and private home projects. Commonwealth Development Authority and NMHC Board of Directors, led by Chair John S. Tenorio, have been asked to explore both tax-exempt and taxable revenue bond financing for both public and private housing projects. Banks, realtors, developers and contractors should all be involved in financial planning with NMHC, said Rep. William S. Torres in a letter to Mr. Tenorio, adding that the housing corporation needs all of these to successfully execute a project of bigger magnitude.
'Don't take the credit for Compact Impact money'
Speaker Benigno R. Fitial said CNMI voters should understand that there are a number of people to be thanked for winning a million dollar share of the Compact Impact money for the Commonwealth, but none of them work for the Clinton administration or its Interior department. He said that even though Resident Rep. Juan N. Babauta rushed to announce the development in interview with reporters, he should have spread around the credit to parties, according to a statement released by Office of the Speaker. Credits should go to such people as the key members of Congress who lobbied on behalf of the CNMI, personal lobbying of Congress by members of the House majority coalition and the more favorable impression being generated about the Commonwealth in Washington D.C.
Oct. 10, 2001
New divisions in DOLI mulled
Moves are now afoot for the elevation of the Employment Office and the Hearing Office at the Department of Labor and Immigration from mere offices into full divisions. This after Rep. Egredino M. Jones met with DOLI Secretary Mark D. Zachares last week where he brought up the possible elevation of the two offices into division level. “I met with Zachares last week to talk about the separation of the Employment Office and Hearing Office from the DOLI and creating them as divisions, to be headed by directors. Zachares was very receptive to the idea and what is only needed is the necessary legislation that would put this in motion,” Jones said.
Senate recalls NMC funding bill
Due to technical deficiencies, the Senate has recalled from Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio a bill that would have set aside government money for selected programs at the Northern Marianas College. The Senate's action on House Bill 12-361 will further delay the allocation of funds into NMC programs that were primarily set up to promote and develop local talent in areas that are important to the long-term growth and stability of the CommonwealthNo reason was given for the recall of the bill, besides citing technical defects in the proposed measure. Earlier, the Senate had passed the bill on August 30, a mere 15 days after it sailed through the House of Representatives on a unanimous vote.
Oct. 10, 2002
OPA: CUC wasted nearly $2M for failed power plant project
The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. spent nearly $2 million in expenses related to the failed 80/60 megawatt Saipan power plant project, with 57 percent of the costs incurred after the Legislature enacted the law that required the construction of the project. This were the findings made by the Office of the Public Auditor in a compilation report it submitted on the procurement of the power project that was eventually scrapped in October 2001 on the recommendation that it was not needed nor in the best interest of CUC. According to Public Auditor Michael S. Sablan, the project never really got off the ground due to the drawn out procurement process.
Fennell bills BoS for services as receiver
Former Bank of Saipan receiver Randall Fennell submitted his final billings for approval by the Superior Court-including his proposed service fee-after the court directed the payment of a similar amount to lawyers and consultants. Fennell, through counsel Richard W. Pierce, told the court that his proposed fee amounting to $64,000 is reasonable at the rate of $16,000 per month. This contention, however, was contested by Michael Dotts, lawyer for Thomas, Paul and Edward Calvo, who are shareholders of the bank and intervenors to the receivership case. Dotts described Fennell's service fee as “outrageous”, saying that the rate is equivalent to approximately $250,000 per annum.