SENATE Vice President Frank Borja wants to meet with Gov. Eloy Inos and Lt. Gov. Ralph Torres regarding the need to expedite the processing of Alter City Group’s permit so the casino investor can move forward with a project that Tinian badly needs.
Borja, chairman of the Senate Committee on Resources, Economic Development and Programs, in an interview on Tuesday said Alter City Group is running out of time because of the delay, and he wants the governor to help move the project forward.
Further delays will only put Tinian’s struggling economy on hold, he added.
Borja said due to the temporary closure of Tinian Dynasty’s casino many municipal employees have been affected by the lack of revenue.
He said the Tinian Legislative Delegation cannot pass a budget for the municipal government because of “zero revenue.”
“Even if we pass a budget it will just be vetoed by the governor because he will ask ‘Where is the money?’ ”
According to Borja, “There is projected revenue but there are zero operations so there is also zero revenue. It’s different when a casino is in operation — the projections will materialize, but if there is no operation, no projections will materialize. Tinian now has a temporary shutdown due to the lack of a budget. We can’t pass a budget that is not there. We are trying to find a way, but even if we found $100,000 it would not be enough to pay off employees and it would only be good for one payroll. So if the Tinian gaming commission cannot resolve [the payroll issue] we will have to let some employees go.”
The senator said the shutdown on Tinian started on Oct. 1, the first day of fiscal year 2016.
The island’s legislative delegation, he added, has appropriated funding to temporarily address the payroll of employees.
Tinian Dynasty’s casino is expected to resume operations on Nov. 15.