CNMI School System Pays Off All Oustanding Utility Bills

$2.7 million check presented to Commonwealth Utilities Corporation

By Erwin Encinares 

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Jan. 12, 2017) – The Public School System has presented a check worth $2.7 million to the Commonwealth Utilities Corp., clearing its outstanding balance with the CNMI’s sole supplier of power.

Newly elected Board of Education chair Marylou Ada, accompanied by former board chair Herman Guerrero and Education Commissioner Cynthia Deleon Guerrero, presented the check to CUC interim executive director Gary Camacho last Jan. 10.

“We are very pleased that we paid off the outstanding balance owed to CUC. We are extremely grateful to the Legislature, the Department of Finance, and Gov. Ralph DLG Torres for including the payment to CUC as part of the $10 million appropriation to PSS,” said Ada, referring to the supplemental appropriations provided to PSS and other government agencies.

Now that the balance to CUC has been settled, PSS expects that it will now be able to function smoother, Ada said.

“We can now direct our focus on improvements to our public schools,” she added.

CUC sued PSS, the CNMI central government, and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., back in 2013 for failing to pay over $5.9 million, $1.2 million, and $9.6 million, respectively, for utility services.

PSS agreed with CUC to pay $100,000 monthly starting last Nov. 25, 2015. With the recent payment of $2.7 million, an overpayment amounting to $263,797.91 would be applied to the current billing for the month.

PSS received more than $10.2 million in supplemental appropriations due to the recent signing of House Bill 19-212 into law last Dec. 19, 2016, appropriating almost $41 million in supplemental funding to various government agencies, including CHCC.

Saipan Tribune
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