Saipan Tribune, Tuesday, September 05, 2006
By Marconi Calindas
The Saipan Mayor's Office has finally resumed the collection of junk cars all over the island after the project was stalled in July due to lack of funding.
Saipan Mayor Juan B. Tudela said they restarted the project in August after awarding a new contract to MAEDA Pacific, in partnership with Basula Produkto.
The contract, however, is only limited to the pick up of some 300 junk cars as the Legislature only appropriated $30,000 for the project, which means only a fraction of the estimated 18,000 junk cars all over the island would be collected and disposed of.
The project was originally delayed following a bidder's failure to meet the final requirement, followed by the realization that quotations from bidders during the second bidding did not meet the actual budget.
Last year, the Legislature appropriated at least $30,000 to the Saipan Mayor's Office to help solve the problem. The money, according to the mayor, would also be used to fund the repair of its 12-year-old old boom truck.
The Saipan Mayor's Office first released its bid bulletin for the project in February but due to lack of necessary documents the awarding of the bid was forfeited.
There are now an estimated 18,000 junk cars scattered all over the island, according to the Beautify CNMI's subcommittee on junk goods. Most of them are on private lots, auto shops, and other places.
Through his staff Tony Benavente, Tudela said his office is closely working with the Division of Environmental Quality to resolve the junk car problem on Saipan.
Benavente earlier said his subcommittee in the Beautify CNMI group is also keen on eliminating environmental hazard and risk by reducing the number of junk cars, scrap metals, and household appliances on roadways and residential areas on Saipan. The subcommittee's concern has always been funding to buy the proper equipment.
Beautify CNMI is an environmental coalition of different government agencies and the private sector.