Marianas Variety

Last updateThu, 23 Nov 2017 12am

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    Wednesday, November 22, 2017-8:24:51P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Tinian pays off debt to MPLT

TINIAN has paid off its $1.3 million debt to the Marianas Public Land Trust. The municipality borrowed the amount a year ago to fund a U.S. Geological Survey study on the island’s water resources.

On Wednesday, Tinian Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas turned over a check in the amount of $462,359.02 to MPLT board chair Martin Ada and board member Pete Deleon Guerrero at the MPLT office on Capital Hill.

With the mayor were Sen. Jude Hofschneider, Sen. Frank Cruz and Rep. Edwin Aldan.

Also present were Secretary of Finance Larrisa Larson and Commonwealth Ports Authority board member Kimberly King-Hinds.

The check represented Tinian’s final payment to MPLT.

San Nicolas in an interview said he is happy that the municipality was able to fulfill its obligation and is no longer indebted to MPLT.

Tinian leaders turn over a check for $462,000 to the Marianas Public Land Trust. From left, MPLT board member Pedro Deleon Guerrero, Rep. Edwin Aldan, Tinian Mayor JP San Nicolas, MPLT board chair Martin Ada, Sen. Jude Hofschneider, Finance Secretary Larrisa Larson and Sen. Frank Cruz.  Photo by Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

“I want to thank MPLT, the board chairman and the members for giving us the opportunity to get this loan to pay USGS. This would not have been possible without the patience and assistance of MPLT, so we want to thank them for their patience. I would also like to thank the Tinian delegation members for their quick response and hard work in passing legislation to authorize us to get the loan. A huge ‘thank you’ to the delegation chairman, Sen. Jude Hofschneider, and the members — Sen. Frank Cruz, Sen. Frank Borja and Rep. Edwin Aldan — for responding to the municipal’s urgent request to pay USGS. We also want to express our thanks to the governor and to the secretary of Finance for their assistance in expediting the payment of this loan. So Tinian no longer has a debt to MPLT. We have also paid USGS so we are happy,” the mayor said.

MPLT board chair Martin Ada thanked the Tinian mayor and lawmakers for meeting their obligations. Tinian, he added, “is our best client under the local investment portfolio.”

Larson for her part said the payment is in line with the administration’s goal to pay off long-standing debts.

“It is our goal that the central government and the municipalities get to that point — paying off debts and obligations. We had overlooked these debts due to lack of funds in the past, but finally we are putting them to rest.”

Hofschneider said the funding source of their loan payments is the $2 million in Saipan casino annual license fee allotted to Tinian.

“We took a portion of that amount to pay our debt to MPLT. We are happy to retire this debt today. This is a collective effort of the municipality, the administration, Finance and the delegation and I thank the governor and the Finance secretary for assisting us. We are also thankful to MPLT.”