HPO seeks community input on projects


To meet the U.S. National Park Service’s requirements, the CNMI Historic Preservation Office must do two projects: a “Historic Preservation Legislation Evaluation Project” and an “HPO Grant Program Audit.”

The federally proposed projects come with the anticipated receipt of $410,831 from the Park Service for fiscal year 2015.

NPS’ proposed goals are the legislation project, the program audit, and the nomination of significant sites to the National Register of Historic Places, and education outreach to the CNMI’s children.

CNMI State Historic Preservation Officer Mertie Kani told Saipan Tribune she is still clarifying if the legislation project means that existing legislation regarding the office needs to be amended or new ones be made.

For the Historic Places nomination, Kani said the office can submit the nomination of one site to the National Register per year. This was the nomination of the Kalabera Cave Rock Art drawing site, which was approved by the HPO board last month.

For the education outreach, the office’s new historian, Ray Muna, has been giving presentations in schools, she said.

On Wednesday, the office holds their final public hearing on office goals for fiscal year 2015. This week’s meeting is on Saipan at the Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe. It starts at 6pm.

Less than 10 people showed up at the previous two meetings on Tinian and Rota last week, according to Kani.

The office is asking for comments on areas to focus on this year, community projects to fund, areas of focus in their publications, areas of focus in surveys and in identifying cultural materials, and aspects of their program that need improvement.

Written comments can also be submitted to HPO no later than April 24.

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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