Pagan homestead program moving ahead

PAGAN: Pagan is an ancient home to the CHamoru people and the habitat of unique animals and plants, many of them endemic, rare and endangered. The Northern Marianas has started a homestead program on Pagan. Photo courtesy of the Sierra Club

SAIPAN – The Northern Marianas Department of Public Lands has begun processing agricultural homestead applications on Pagan, Northern Islands Mayor Vicente Santos said.

Since March, he said DPL has been accepting applications for 88 agricultural homestead lots on east Pagan, consisting of 5,000 square meters per lot.

DPL will review all applications before the final distribution of the lots, he added.

DPL is also working on the rules and regulations for the agricultural homestead program, Santos said.

He is confident that DPL will oversee a smooth processing of the applications.

At present, Santos said five individuals reside on Agrihan, three on Pagan and 10 on Guguan. Most of the Northern Island residents live on Saipan.

In May, Santos said they set up a radio tower. “Everything is up and now I’m happy because we have a good communication system,” he added.

However, due to lack of power supply on Pagan, their radio system cannot provide a 24-hour service.

He said they have created a schedule indicating the appropriate time for their constituents on Pagan who may want to communicate with the mayor’s office on Saipan’s Capital Hill.