The Saipan Mayor’s Office may not get its proposed budget for fiscal year 2016, but some of its concerns will be addressed.
The Saipan Mayor’s Office asked for “around $3 million” for fiscal year 2016, according to Saipan Mayor David Apatang. This is nearly double the governor’s proposal of $1.6 million, which is the same level given to the Mayor’s Office last fiscal year.
Apatang, who was sworn in in January, said his budget proposal will fund an additional 10 full-time employees, beautification of the island, and cleanup drives in Kagman, San Vicente, and other areas in the middle part of Saipan.
The proposed budget will also fund the Mayor’s Office stray dog removal program, which he said is very costly.
Rep. Antonio Sablan (R-Saipan), chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, which is overseeing the budget hearings, said the Mayor’s Office might not get the additional $1 million, but some of its needs will be addressed.
He said the committee will also study the pressing needs of the Mayor’s Office including operational costs, its dog control program, prior obligations, and list of other obligations.
“What we need to do is determine where the current budget is short, and try to come up with funding for these areas,” Sablan said.
“Personally, I think the committee will support the additional funding, particularly for rental costs, and purchase of equipment such as an excavator and a loader.”
Sablan said the committee recognizes that Apatang’s proposed $3-million budget was the amount that Apatang deemed “essential” when he took on the position.
A big item on the proposed budget is the $280,000 for the construction of a new shop behind the post office, which is unsafe and has structural issues, Sablan said.
Sablan noted that Apatang is also coordinating with the Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council on other funding sources.