Outer Cove to be closed


The Department of Lands and Natural Resources announced that the Outer Cove Marina will be closed on Sep. 30 due to safety concerns and rehabilitation efforts to improve the site for future public use. (MARC A. VENUS)

The Outer Cover Marina will be shut down indefinitely and all existing agreements with the marina will be terminated.

The closure will start next Monday, Sept. 30, 2019.

In an announcement last Friday, the Department of Lands and Natural Resources said the department will be closing the Outer Cove Marina in its entirety due to its “deteriorating condition” and would also terminate all existing agreements made for the marina until further notice.

The closure is so that the marina can be rehabilitated and fixed for future use. The announcement, however, did not set a timeline on how long the marina will be closed.

In Friday’s notice, DLNR Secretary Anthony Benavente said the marina’s closure is based on the recommendation of the Office of the Public Auditor and Department of Public Works.

“We want to ensure the safety and security of the tenants, operators, agents, and the general public by closing down the marina as DLNR moves forward on rehabilitation efforts. We ask for the community’s patience as we improve one of our island’s most popular sites to better accommodate events for the public,” he said in the statement.

Benavente’s announcement added that all OCM tenants, operators, and agents must sign a waiver of liability, due on Sept. 4, 2019, by 12pm.

An employee of a marine sports operator jumps on a collapsed bridge at the dock of the Outer Cove Marina yesterday afternoon. Two of three bridges had already collapsed due to deterioration. The Department of Lands and Natural Resources will close Outer Cove Marina starting Sept. 30, 2019. Some commercial boat operators are hoping DLNR will reconsider.

“Visit the Smiling Cove Marina office [or the DLNR main office in Lower Base] immediately to sign a waiver of liability to continue usage of OCM prior to full termination,” Benavente noted. Failure to sign a user waiver on or before Sept. 4, 2019, will result in eviction from OCM.

DLNR also wants updated company records to be provided to them, including updated records such as mailing addresses, contact persons, and accounts with OCM, as well as vessels.

“DLNR will submit all past due accounts for collection with the Office of the Attorney General,” the announcement noted.

DLNR said that companies should start preparing to relocate.

“Begin to make immediate arrangements for berthing your vessels, loading and unloading passengers elsewhere,” the announcement noted.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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