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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Flores seeks share of bond funds

The Saipan Mayor’s Office asked the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation yesterday for a share of the $2.7 million bond funds and interest that Gov. Eloy S. Inos earlier said is available for appropriation.

In his letter to the delegation, Saipan Mayor Donald G. Flores said, “Though we believe the agencies listed provide essential public services, we also believe the Office of the Mayor of Saipan should be among the agencies [that should get a portion of the funds].”

Inos earlier proposed to appropriate the funds to several Saipan projects, including $600,000 to pave Kagman’s roads; $250,000 to buy two 66-passenger school buses for the Public School System; $250,000 for the replacement of at least 50 hospital beds at the Commonwealth Health Center; and $45,000 to build a Saipan Southern High School baseball field.

Flores pointed out, though, that his office fills the gaps left behind by the Department of Public Works and Division of Parks and Recreation.

“We continue to maintain and repair critical roadways to ensure the safety of our motorists,” he said.

He said his office’s scope of work includes clearing roadways of vegetation, filling of potholes, trenches, and others from rainstorm washouts and other causes that degrade the roads.

Flores also pointed out that neither DPW nor Parks and Recreation has dependable and reliable equipment to perform their individual statutory mandate to repair, maintain and improve all secondary roads.

He noted that a plan to privatize the services of Parks and Recreation is in the works and allocating $200,000 to them “might not be a priority at this time, in our [Saipan Mayor’s Office] opinion.”

Flores also noted that his office has a tree-pruning program and the crew have been trained and certified in bucket truck safety operation.

“We do not need another agency to own, operate, and maintain an additional bucket truck,” Flores said. “We all know we lack equipment that are in good condition as all we have are hand-me-downs that are over three decades old.”

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