Apatang awaiting heavy equipment
Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang said his office is still awaiting the arrival of heavy equipment that would make it easier for his staff to maintain and even improve secondary roads on the island.
“My goal is to really focus on secondary road paving and the [Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative] Delegation allocated a lot of money to pave these secondary roads,” he said.
Apatang said he needs to sit down with Public Works Secretary James Ada to discuss the budget the 19th Legislature allocated to the Saipan Mayor’s Office for secondary road pavement projects.
One type of heavy equipment his office needs, according to Apatang, is a grader.
“Next priority is to ask the Legislature for funding for a small grader. There is only one grader on island and we have to share it with Public Works. [We] need it to repair secondary roads. We also need a small compactor.”
Apatang said they are also waiting for the arrival of a heavy-duty pickup truck that would be used to haul heavy loads like a backhoe. He said an order has already been routed to Joeten Motors for a Ford pickup truck that costs around $60,000.
He also disclosed that the boom truck they acquired for free from the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. cannot be used for its original purpose and they are planning to convert it into a water tanker.
Just like the pickup truck, the mid-size boom truck was bought from Joeten Motors at a cost of $700,000.
“We just need something to be used around the community for requests to cut tree branches,” said Apatang.
He said the arrival of the new heavy equipment they ordered would allow them to serve the community of Saipan better.
“We don’t have many people out there but we try to accommodate all the requests that come, whether it be PSS (Public School System), other government agencies, and the college. If they ask for our assistance we come and try to help them.”
While it’s been a year and a half since the onslaught of Typhoon Soudelor, Apatang’s office is still getting calls to pick up debris from the typhoon. He also said junk cars continue to be a concern.
“Soudelor is done but there are still some people that have debris left, but we still pick them up. We’re still going around and doing that. No hassle in that.”
“We’re also starting to pick up junk cars again. We’re starting from San Antonio, Dandan, Chalan Kanoa, and going north,” said Apatang, adding that his office is reviewing requests from 2014 and 2015. “[The Commonwealth] Zoning [Board] tags them and we pick them up.”
“We have partnership with ERICCO Enterprises. As long as they’re clean and there’s no trash inside and fuel is empty, they’ll take them. Those are rat nests, mosquitos breed on them, and definitely eyes sores.”