21 Dec 2006

CNMI struggles to float bond

4:12 pm on 21 December 2006

The government of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas may not be able to float a new multimillion-dollar bond to settle pending land compensation claims because there is no certain source of funds to pay it back.

The Saipan Tribune says there are about 300 land claims pending with the Department of Public Lands amounting to between 40 and 60 million US dollars.

The cases involve private properties acquired for public purposes, such as road construction, utility easements, wetlands, and other public infrastructure.

Payments may be in the form of cash disbursements or land exchanges, depending on the landowner's preference.

The paper quotes Public Lands Secretary John S. Del Rosario Jr. as saying that some bonding companies are willing to help the government float a bond, but given its dwindling revenues, the government may not be able to afford a debt of that size.