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By Marconi Calindas

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, March 29) – Effective yesterday, Saipan Mayor Juan B. Tudela ordered the suspension of public services on Saipan due to the lack of money to buy fuel for his office's vehicles.

Public services affected include all water truck deliveries, all quarry operations and coral deliveries, all road repairs, junk car removal, site preparations for wakes and funerals, village cleanups, and beautification projects.

Tudela told Saipan Tribune during an interview yesterday that his office is forced to execute such a decision as they have no funds for fuel.

He said his office would not be able to do its regular chores without the necessary fuel for its service vehicles. He said he didn't have any choice but to forego and delay some services.

"We have no fuel for government operations. Late payments to Mobil Oil by the Department of Finance have caused us to be cut off until further notice. There's no fuel for operations," he said.

He said the Office of Management and Budget informed him this week of this drastic budget cut. Tudela said his office has been instructed to cut salaries across-the-board and reduce the municipality of Saipan's annual budget from $1.9 million to $1.1 million.

"We can't live with that limit and I refuse to further cut the small salaries of my workers," Tudela said.

The mayor is now seeking the full understanding of the public "during this time of financial crisis." He said his office would notify the public when the services resume.

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