An updated development strategy for the CNMI—which outlines all the projects that needs to be implemented in the CNMI as part of its economic development priorities—is composed of 201 projects, with a price tag of $1.4 billion, according to NMI Office of Planning and Development director Kodep Ogumoro-Uludong.
In his presentation on the updated Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for the CNMI as guest speaker at the Saipan Chamber of Commerce’s membership meeting yesterday at the Kanoa Resort’s Seaside Hall, Ogumoro-Uludong said those projects include rebuilding the Northern Marianas College, the Northern Marianas Technical Institute, the water filtration system at Isley Field, and the Oleai Sport Complex.
He said that his office, in partnership with the Department of Commerce, was tasked by the U.S. Economic Development Administration to develop the updated CEDS—a five-year plan that identifies all the different economic development priorities of each state. All U.S. states and jurisdictions were mandated to put together their respective CEDS and submit them to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s EDA.
He said that, in light of Super Typhoon Yutu, EDA sent members from their engineering department last December to inform the OPD that they must update the CEDS so that they can incorporate all the projects for economic recovery.
He said the federal resources that can provide support to the CNMI are the Federal Emergency Management Agency, EDA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
He said his office worked with the mayors of Saipan, Tinian, and the Northern Islands to update the CEDS and submitted it to EDA last April. OPD was able to gather 600 comments from the community on what their ideas for economic recovery priorities were.
“We worked with all the general agencies, businesses, and the non-profit organizations to give us a general cost estimate,” Ogumoro-Uludong said.
That included the Bureau of Environmental Coastal Equality, the Commonwealth Utilities Corp., Department of Commerce, Department of Lands and Natural Resources, Department of Public Lands, the Department of Public Works, Marianas Visitors Authority, the offices of the mayors of Saipan, Tinian, Rota, and the Northern Islands, Zoning Office, Saipan Chamber of Commerce, and the Saipan Economic Development Council.