Hofscneider: Key concerns of Tinian conveyed to visiting CODEL


Sen. Jude U. Hofscneider (R-Tinian) says the Tinian leadership was able to convey the many issues their island faces amid planned U.S. military activity during a meeting with visiting members from the U.S. Armed Service subcommittee on Readiness during a visit last month.

Hofschneider said Thursday he personally highlighted the Tinian breakwater during their meeting with Delegate Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU) and Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA 1st District).

“Everybody knows the breakwater on Tinian is in dire need and is in a state of disarray, so we are in need of funding to repair those,” Hofschneider said. “I highlighted that because that is the biggest concern right now other than the other issues.”

Hofschneider said the delegation did not commit to anything, however it did recognized the “gravity” of their concerns. “We also mentioned that we were working hard, with the many challenges that we have, to make Tinian a destination of choice for our tourism resort industry” like the realization of direct flights to Tinian to supports its casino industry.

“That’s a big thing for us. We just approved a mega resort on Tinian. One of the biggest challenges of the casino industry is the direct flights” to the island, Hofschneider said.

“We also pointed out that the ports along with the leadership have been working hand and glove to finish up the departure, arrival terminals of the airport.”

When asked, Hofschneider felt the congressmen “absolutely” recognized their concerns.

“It was very fruitful. We all appreciate the fact that [Wittman] did come down and physically saw the situation that we have. We look forward to his return trip because it looks he is going to probably make another go around.”

Among others, the Department of Defense wants to house large scale firing ranges complexes on Tinian and have laid out plans to use the Tinian airport as part of this training. Right now, the small arms ranges approved in an earlier Marianas-wide project have been deferred till outcome of the current planned project on Tinian, which is currently undergoing a second round of environmental review.

Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at dennis_chan@saipantribune.com.

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