‘MPLT can handle other half of Micro Games’ funding’

Posted on Oct 20 2005

The Micronesian Games’ $5.8 million funding need can be solved if the Marianas Public Lands Trust agrees to finance at least 50 percent of the required amount.

This is the opinion of Commonwealth Development Authority board chair Tom Glen Quitugua, who had earlier said that CDA would be willing to loan out some $2.9 million or 50 percent of the total funding requirement for the hosting of 2006 Micronesian Games in the CNMI.

“That’s all that we have. The other 50 percent, MPLT may be able to provide it,” said Quitugua yesterday.

He said MPLT is in sound financial standing so it could grant the funding request.

CDA officials met this week with the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs and governor senior policy adviser Bob Schwalbach to discuss funding options for the Micro Games. During the meeting, CDA said that it could provide for the 50 percent funding need if all legal issues are cleared.

Quitugua expressed confidence yesterday that if the entire government pull together, the money can be produced and the repayment can be made available.

“I think they [Executive Branch, Legislature] have a definite solution on repayment. They just need to look at the resources they have,” said Quitugua.

He said the government can look at possible federal grants that can be used for the sports facilities projects.

DCAA Secretary Juan L. Babauta said that the $5.8 million funding would be used to renovate existing sports facilities and to construct additional facilities.

Babauta said there is a need to construct a new Olympics-size swimming pool and tennis courts at Oleai Sports Complex. Other projects include renovation of the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium and Kan Pacific swimming pool, installation of additional lighting at the Olympic-standard Oleai track and field, construction of grandstands at the three Oleai Sports Complex fields, and construction of toilet and shower facilities.

The House of Representatives earlier passed a bill appropriating $550,000 from the Managaha landing fees to construct the grandstands at the Francisco Palacios baseball stadium and Miguel B. Pangelinan softball field, which are both located at the Oleai Sports Complex.

The construction of these official grandstands have reportedly been identified as the most urgent priority in relation to the hosting of the games.

Next year’s Micronesian Games, which will be held on June 23 to July 7, is expected to attract about 1,500 to 1,700 athletes, coaches and officials.

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