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By Edith G. Alejandro

Staff Reporter

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (July 10, 2001 – Saipan Tribune)---The Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council has urged Governor Pedro P. Tenorio to fast track the implementation of the Northern Islands Development Plan.

The council gave its support to long-term development plans laid down by Mayor Joseph T. Ogumoro through a resolution it adopted last week.

Ogumoro has been actively campaigning to promote economic development in the Northern Islands, in preparation for the eventual resettlement of its residents, who were moved to Saipan following volcanic and seismic disturbances.

In a resolution, Council Chair Gregorio V. Deleon Guerrero and Vice Chair David Indalecio said the municipal council strongly supports the immediate implementation of the Northern Islands Development Plan to enhance the commonwealth's overall economic stability.

Guerrero said the project will also promote employment opportunities and other activities beneficial to all Northern Islands residents.

The council transmitted copies of the resolution to government officials last week, in hopes of expediting the implementation of Ogumoro’s development plan for Pagan, Anatahan, Alamagan, and Agrigan.

The plan has a three-fold purpose that includes the permanent resettlement of the islands’ residents; to provide daily transportation to and from the islands by sea or air; and to promote the private sector’s participation in the development of the islands.

Under the plan, the government will assist development by enacting three proposed bills, namely the Northern Islands Rural Homesteading Act, the Northern Islands Transportation and Infrastructure Financing Act, and the Northern Islands Economic Development and Incentive Act.

The plan earlier received the support of ports officials who sought the assistance of the Federal Aviation Administration to help rehabilitate Pagan’s airport.

CPA Executive Director Carlos H. Salas asked FAA Airport Division Manager Herman Bliss to study the possibility of providing le assistance that could be extended to the Northern Islands.

For additional reports from The Saipan Tribune, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Saipan Tribune.

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