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Governor, DPW update Precinct 3 lawmakers on village projects

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GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres and Department of Public Works Secretary James Ada on Monday provided Precinct 3 House members an update on village projects.

The governor and the DPW secretary met with Speaker Blas Jonathan Attao and other Precinct 3 lawmakers at 3 p.m. in the governor’s conference room.

Ada told Variety that Saipan lawmakers had been asking about pending projects, so he and the governor met with the lawmakers to update them not only about pending projects but upcoming ones as well.

These projects were already funded by past local appropriations, he added.

Ada said he and the governor will meet with other lawmakers to discuss their village projects.

In a separate interview, Rep. Ivan Blanco said they discussed local projects that the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation had funded in previous legislatures.

But because of circumstances that are beyond the government’s control — Super Typhoon Yutu, for example — many of these projects have yet to move forward, and because of the delay, the costs for some of the projects have gone up, Blanco said.

They now have to determine how much additional funding is needed to implement these projects, he added.

Blanco said they will have to meet again with DPW officials and the Finance secretary to come up with exact figures.

“A lot of our constituents have been waiting for these projects to be completed and we are glad that the governor and the DPW secretary updated us,” he said.

House Floor Leader John Paul Sablan said most of the projects for Precinct 2 have yet to be completed, which is why he also wants to get an update from DPW.

Likewise, Rep. Roman Benavente of Precinct 1 is looking forward to a separate meeting with DPW.

“I welcome their approach because it will enlighten us on what has been delaying these projects,” he added. “We should try to move ahead with these precinct projects instead of waiting too long.”

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