By: L.N. Reklai
December 13, 2016 (Koror,Palau) Koror State Governor Yositaka Adachi submitted an agreement for water use right to the national government for use to construct the docking facility for the new patrol boats offered by Nippon Foundation.
In a letter to Minister Bells, Governor Adachi stated that although the national government did not follow up on the application for water use right after their initial failed meeting, Koror State is willing to accommodate the needs of the national government “based upon final plans”. Furthermore, he stated, in support of the project, Koror State submits an agreement for water use right.
Governor Adachi also indicated in his letter that the agreement should be signed by President Remengesau Jr.
Water use right agreement states size, terms, uses, rights and liabilities of grantee (nat’l government) and grantor, which is Koror State. The agreement sets term to 50, to end in 2066 and restricts uses to only that which is proposed by the project.
Minister of Justice and Vice President Antonio Bells responded that the national government generally agrees with terms of the agreement but seeks to amend the term of the lease from 50 years to “in perpetuity” and “so long as the grantee possesses and uses the water area for purposes set forth above”.
In support of the “perpetuity” term, VP Bells stated that “considering the significant contribution being made to complete the project, a perpetual use right is necessary to provide strong justification and firm assurance that these fund will serve their intended use for years to come.”
These communications come after the recent clash between Ministry of Justice and Koror State Government over permits and use rights for the new Division of Marine Law Enforcement building and docking facility for the new patrol boats.
Governor Adachi asserts in his latest later that “Koror State Government and Koror State Public Land Authority are prepared to assess the needs of the national government for public lands and marine areas in Koror and to enter into an appropriate agreement that will serve the needs of the people of Palau.”
The construction work of the new DMLE and new wharf is expected to break ground this January and to be completed before November 2018 in order to receive the new patrol boats that are scheduled to arrive by the end of 2018. [/restrict]