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Lawmaker eyes IPI community chest fund for CUC

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THE chairman of the House Committee on Public Utilities, Transportation and Communication chairman, Rep. Marco Peter, said $10 million of the Imperial Pacific International community benefit fund should be allotted to the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.

The Commonwealth Casino Commission, in its latest order, directed the cash-strapped IPI to meet its obligations to private vendors and the government, including the $20 million community benefit fund that the casino license agreement requires IPI to contribute to the CNMI.

In his letter to CUC Executive Director Gary Camacho, Peter said he understands some of the pressing concerns of the public utility, which include the rapidly deteriorating condition of its power plant engines.

He said he is also aware of the approximately $43 million that the central government and Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. owes CUC.

“As chairman of PUTC, I will be working with the administration to dedicate or reserve $10 million out of the community chest funds to pay CUC to fund its endeavors [and] improve CUC’s ability to provide consistent services. Just as our community pays their fair share for the services that CUC provides, the central government and CHCC must also be responsible for their obligations,” Peter told Camacho.

Last month, the Casino Commission issued Commission Order 2020-002 requiring IPI to appoint a chief executive officer; Commission Order 2020-003 requiring IPI to maintain sufficient funds for three months’ payroll; and Commissioner Order 2020-004 requiring IPI to meet its obligations to both government and private vendors.

According to Casino Commission Executive Director Charlie Atalig, IPI has 30 days from the affective date of the order to comply with  Commission Orders 2020-03 and 2020-04. The 30 days will end on Aug. 9.

 

 

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