Sugar Dock to be demolished

SUGAR Dock will be demolished and replaced with a new dock that is safe and more durable. This was the decision of the various agencies that met on Thursday with Rep. John Paul Sablan to discuss the present dilapidated condition of Sugar Dock, one of the island’s most popular recreational site.

Sablan met with various representatives of the Department of Public Lands, the Department of Public Works, the Historic Preservation Office, the Department of Lands and Natural Resources, the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs and the Bureau of Environmental Coastal Quality to continue the ongoing discussions on Sugar Dock.

Rep. John Paul Sablan gestures as he speaks during a meeting, Thursday, with representatives of various government agencies to discuss possible solutions to Sugar Dock’s dilapidated condition. Photo by David Butterfield

During the meeting, HPO archaeologist Jim Pruitt said they invited architect Andrew Laguana from Guam to assess the dock.

Laguana said based on his assessment, the site itself is historical so it should be preserved and enhanced for the use of future generations.

But he also said if the dock is merely repaired, five years later, the CNMI will be needing his assessment again for another repair.

He said the best solution to the problem is to demolish the dock and build a new one that can last for many years. It will, however, cost over $1 million to construct a new dock.

In an interview, Rep. John Paul Sablan said he and fellow Precinct 2 lawmaker, Speaker Ralph Demapan, will find ways to secure funding to build a new dock.

One possible funding source, he said, is the $11 million Saipan casino license fee.

Sablan said they will still look for other funding sources.

“We’ve been having this meeting about the dock for five months now,” he told Variety. “Our main issue here is the safety of the people. Kids frequent the dock and jump into the water. We tried to stop them by putting a fence but they destroyed the fence. We even asked the [Department of Public Safety] to send officers to the area and to patrol it, but we can’t expect our officers to patrol the area 24 hours a day, so we decided to create a Sugar Dock committee to address the problem. We have various agencies here coming together to help resolve the issues. Since the area is a historical site there are some protocols that need to be followed before we can move forward,” Sablan said.

 “We are optimistic we can find the funding to address the issue. We have to work hard because we don’t want to compromise the safety of the people,” he added.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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