The fences are up, the parking lot has been cleared, and the two ballfields at the Oleai Sports Complex are now playable, thanks to the Saipan Mayor’s Office.
Northern Marianas Sports Association executive director Tony Rogolifoi said that for the last few months, Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang through his office’s employees has been assisting NMSA staff in cleaning and clearing the sports complex and its facilities that sustained significant damage from Super Typhoon Yutu in October last year.
“We are very grateful to Mayor Apatang and his dedicated staff for helping us clear the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios and Miguel “Tan Ge” Basa Pangelinan ballfields, which are now ready for use. They also helped us fix the front fence (facing Beach Road) and they loaned us equipment to work the grounds,” Rogolifoi said.
The roofing at the “Tan Ge” field has been repaired, too, while a few more work will be done at the “Tan Ko” pitch, which will be used for the upcoming 2019 Saipan Baseball League. Then last Saturday, the front parking lot of the sports complex went through water blasting.
“Little by little, we’re trying to fix things here with the help of the Saipan Mayor’s Office, while we’re waiting for FEMA’s help,” the NMSA official said.
NMSA has already turned in some paperwork for the repairs needed at the Oleai facilities to FEMA early this year. A separate 10-project proposal to the CNMI Office of the Planning and Development was also submitted last February with majority of the suggested improvements are from the facilities located at the sports complex.
Meanwhile, NMSA, according to Rogolifoi, has also submitted a budget proposal to the Office of the Governor for the 2020 fiscal year and has yet to get an update from Capitol Hill, while the budget for the remaining months of 2019 has been cut by 30 percent due to the government’s austerity measures.
NMSA, besides the money it is getting from the government in the past several years, uses its earnings from lottery/scratch cards for the maintenance and operation of the sports complex and to support CNMI athletes’ participation in off-island tournaments.