Mayor’s Office plans to build new animal shelter in As Perdido


The Saipan Mayor’s Office is looking to build the new animal shelter at the site of the quarantine facility of the Department of Lands and Natural Resources in As Perdido, according to the office’s special assistant Henry Hofschneider.

Hofschneider said the then Marianas Public Lands Trust gave the DLNR the full rights and property title of the land where the quarantine facility was built. DLNR then allowed the mayor’s office’s Animal Control Office to transfer to As Perdido after the shelter at Lower Base closed down.

The animal shelter in Lower Base closed last March 31 based on the Department of Public Works’ Building Safety Code Division’s recommendation following their inspection. The building suffered extensive damage when Typhoon Soudelor hit Saipan last year.

The building sustained structural damage and repair and other forms of restoration will no longer be needed. The walls and tin roof of the animal shelter were torn apart by Soudelor’s strong winds that reached a maximum of 180 miles per hour.

“It doesn’t make sense to repair the animal shelter and spend money on an already condemned facility. Also, we still need to entirely demolish the animal shelter in Lower Base before we can build a new one,” said Hofschneider.

“[The Federal Emergency Management Agency] also advised us to raise the floors by at least 6 feet since the shelter is on a flood zone area,” he added.

Hofschneider said that DLNR, under Secretary Richard B. Seman, allowed them to build the permanent facility—the new shelter—on the land since their department also deals with animals, including their health and welfare.

Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang said, in a separate interview last month, that they already received the money from FEMA.

Hofschneider said that the only thing left to do is to ask FEMA’s permission to use the money they gave to mayor’s office to build the new shelter. FEMA gave the mayor’s office $324,000 as federal aid to help repair the damaged shelter in Lower Base.

“We are trying to get FEMA’s permission since we need to use the money for repairs only and not to construct a new facility,” said Hofschneider. “But I believe they would give us permission.”

Hofschneider added that they had already informed DPW to have one of their architects start with the plans and to begin inspecting the topography of the site. “They said that they should start preparing in a few weeks.”

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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