Governor okays funding for Micronesian Games grandstands

Posted on Dec 13 2005

Governor Juan N. Babauta has approved funding for the construction of grandstands for next year’s Micronesian Games at the diamonds of the Oleai Sports Complex.

This according to Micronesian Games executive committee chair Juan L. Babauta, who said during an interview Monday night that the governor has already signed House Bill 14-378, which states that $500,000 will be appropriated for the construction of grandstands at the Francisco M. Palacios Baseball Field and the Miguel Basa Softball Field.

“He signed it already…last Friday,” chairman Babauta said, citing that construction will soon begin. “It’s another big step for us as we continue to prepare for the Micronesian Games.”

Off the $500,000, about $300,000 will be used for the Palacios field and the remaining $200,000 for the softball field. The grandstands are among the many other projects needed to be completed before the hosting of the 2006 Micronesian Games next summer.

The Senate had earlier amended the bill, lowering the appropriation that was introduced by the House to provide funding for several school projects. The government will tap into the Managaha Landing Fees for the funds.

About $650,000 will be taken from the Managaha Landing Fees, with the $500,000 for the Micro Games projects, $100,000 for the construction of the Dandan Elementary School pathway, $25,000 for the construction of the Kagman Elementary School pathway, and $25,000 for the renovation of Marianas High School’s J Building, which is currently experiencing problems with termites.

The 2006 Micronesian Games is scheduled to be held on Saipan on June 23 to July 7. The NMI first hosted the regional sports event in 1969 and later in 1990.

Authorities earlier said that the CNMI needs some $5.8 million to renovate existing facilities and construct new sports facilities to prepare for the Games, which will play host to some 1,500 to 1,700 athletes, coaches, and officials from around the region.

Also, the Commonwealth Development Authority had earlier offered loaning some $2.9 million for construction and renovations of facilities, which chairman Babauta said is an option that is being looked into.

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