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NMC-CREES asked to relinquish portion of research plot on Tinian

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THE Office of the Tinian Mayor is requesting Northern Marianas College to turn over 5,000 square meters of its CREES research plot.

NMC-Cooperative Research, Extension and Education Services Interim Dean Patricia Coleman said the Tinian leadership is in the process of constructing a new civic center and the site identified is where the Tinian Veterans Cemetery is  located.

She said the Tinian leadership plans to relocate the cemetery to a site near the public cemetery in San Jose.

Coleman said 5,000 square meters  of land will be needed and it will come from a parcel of land  designated to NMC, which is planning to use it as  a site for aquaculture research and development. NMC also intends to grow pineapple and taro in the  30,000-square-meter area.

While NMC supports the Tinian leadership plan for the community, NMC Interim President Frankie Eliptico said the college has made investments in the property using federal funds.

He said the viability of future grants and programs may be affected if the college is asked again to reduce the Tinian property that it manages.

During the NMC board meeting last week, Coleman asked the regents to consider and negotiate an alternative site in exchange for the 5,000-square-meter parcel of land requested by the Tinian mayor’s office.

NMC-CREES also requested the board to ask the Tinian mayor’s office to consider a reduction in the size of the veterans cemetery relocation plan.

Regent Zenie Mafnas said NMC may end up reimbursing federal grantors for not using funds as intended.

Currently, NMC-CREES and the Commonwealth Development Authority are working with the Tinian leadership to enhance the island’s cattle industry and to obtain U.S. Department of Agriculture certification for the Tinian slaughterhouse.

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