Saipan municipal council meets with contractors

THE SAIPAN and Northern Islands Municipal Council met last week with Department of Public Works officials and three contractors for a pre- project conference on the construction of a new municipal council building in Chalan Kanoa.

The contractors were Richard Cody of Taniguchi Ruth Makio Architects, Jacquileen Mabaquiao of Engineering Management & Planning Services Corporation, and Jeff Pangelinan of Duenas, Camacho and Associates.

Council Chairman Luis John Castro said they hope to build a sturdy structure that will withstand typhoons.

The current municipal council building was destroyed by Typhoon Soudelor in 2015, he said, adding that they have secured funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to build a new one.

During the meeting, municipal council adviser William Torres discussed with the contractors the conflicting opinions of two government agencies regarding the current building.

The Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council meets with Department of Public Works officials and private contractors during a project conference at the site of the proposed new municipal council building in Chalan Kanoa. Photo by Junhan B. Todiño

He said DPW condemned the building, saying it’s no longer safe while the Historic Preservation Office wants the building restored based on the pre-war Japanese design.

DPW technical service division highway engineer III Gani Salazar and DPW architectural and engineering facilities branch manager Crystal Cabrera said they will collaborate with the selected contractor and provide technical support.

Municipal council administrator Frances Muna said FEMA has approved $466,000 for the construction of a new building, but the municipal council has to provide 10 percent of the total cost.

Muna said FEMA gave them 180 days which ended in February this year to complete the project. She said they will request another 180 days from FEMA.

The project conference was also attended by municipal council vice chairman Diego Kaipat and secretary Antonia Tudela.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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