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Last updateFri, 30 Jun 2017 12am

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    Thursday, June 29, 2017-12:47:14P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Alter City Group opposes military buildup on Tinian

ALTER City Group or ACG, the new casino investor on Tinian, says the proposed military expansion is inappropriate, ill-conceived and impermissible.

In its public comment regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, ACG through its managing director Ken Lin said the DEIS is not in the best interests of Tinian and the CNMI and will adversely affect the economic development of Tinian including ACG’s substantial investment to build its hotel and resort facilities on the island adjacent to the area to be used by the military.

Lin said the DEIS seeks to “militarize Tinian, driving out investors and cutting economic development off at its knees.”

He said ACG wants to invest on Tinian with the development of the Plumeria Resort “in the beautiful and idyllic Puntan Diablo Cove.”

ACG “seeks to create an international destination with resort hotels, casinos, an 18-hole international golf course, a themed water park, as well as residential villas and various other public facilities to attract tourists from all over the world as well as enhance local infrastructure facilities and provide additional community services to the local population of Tinian.”

Lin said originally, ACG pledged an investment of $360 million to build a casino and hotel, but now it has pledged an additional $145 million.

Lin said they also contributed $4.7 million of infrastructure projects to construct new roads and improve existing ones.

They also contribute funding for the relocation of the dumpsite on Tinian, he added.

ACG, in addition, plans to open more direct flights to both Saipan and Tinian while working with the local government to upgrade the current airport facilities on Tinian to make it capable of accommodating 737 international aircraft as well as helicopters and private aircraft.

Lin said DEIS is a direct and immediate threat to the economic development and prosperity of Tinian.

He said DEIS proposes to “take over even more of Tinian to pollute the serenity of the island with live-fire exercises on the ground, artillery stations, loud jets in the air, dig up the beaches with amphibious vehicles and displace its native wildlife, and cut off the public from the majority of the island with the establishment of its danger zone.”

ACG, he added, is opposed to the military proposal. “Tinian has already given the majority of its island for military-defense practices. ACG questions the appropriateness of Tinian as a historic and cultural tropical treasure being turned into a location for such destructive military training.”

He added, “The DEIS proposes to significantly alter the island as we know it in dramatically irreparable ways and readily acknowledges that it will impact the island for future generations. The military has suggested activities which adversely impact the island of Tinian, its residents and adjacent operators like ACG. The benefits from the military with the DEIS are minimal, but the burdens are significant and unsustainable.

“If the DEIS goes through, the investment ACG has planned for Tinian will be effectively worthless. ACG is prepared to take whatever legal action is necessary in the form of a cause-of-action for tortuous interference of contract injunctive relief and otherwise to protect its agreement and its promises for Tinian.

“ACG will not only protect its investment, but it will also fight to protect the people of Tinian and their cultural and economic resources from a military intent to run roughshod over these concerns.”