Senate endorses 30-year Atu'u land lease between Starkist and ASG
The Senate has endorsed the 30-year land lease between StarKist Samoa and the American Samoa Government for the land in Atu’u that the company pays 29-cents per square foot for.
It is unclear why the House didn’t act on the lease, which was one of the issues on the governor’s agenda for the special session that ended last Wednesday.
Under local law, any lease is automatically approved if no action is taken by the Fono after 30-days of receiving the lease.
And should the Fono fail to endorse the 30-year lease, the lease shall revert to a term of nine-years, eleven-months, and 30-days commencing Nov. 1, 2013 until Oct. 28, 2023, according to provisions of the lease agreement signed last month by Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga and Sam Hew Lee, president and CEO of Pittsburgh-based StarKist Co.
Furthermore, when the lease expires under the 30-year provision, StarKist has the option to renew it for an additional 25-years, after notifying the government six months prior to the end of the initial lease.
According to the lease, StarKist pays 29-cents per square foot, which amounts to a monthly payment of $9,864.91 or a total of $118,378.87 annually. The lease covers a total of 408,203 square feet, which includes 270,126 square feet of the original property and 138,077 of additional land that covers StarKist housing on Atu’u hill as well as the can manufacturing plant - which is located within close proximity to the housing complex.
Under the lease, 50 feet of public road that exists between StarKist facilities and Samoa Tuna Processors Inc. facilities on the east “shall not be developed” to the extent that the development would interfere with operations of StarKist or with the free and continuing access of use of its property.
Additionally, ASG grants StarKist a “road right-of-way” for an access road at the site to the existing roadway to the residential land. Moreover, the cost of maintenance and repair of the access road will be prorated between StarKist and other commercial organizations using the roadway.
Another provision of the lease calls for the adjustment for inflation every five years to reflect the fair rental value of the property. Additionally, the lease shall be renegotiated after the first three years and every year thereafter to adjust for changes in circumstances not related to inflation which increase or decrease the value of the leasehold.
The lease requires the company to employ only American Samoans, permanent residents, or U.S. nationals and such other persons as authorized to be employed under local immigration laws.
The company “may be authorized” to bring in necessary supervisory, technical and other skilled personnel who are not readily available in the territory.
In his letter to the Fono leaders, Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga said this is a renewal of the StarKist lease which expired Aug. 14th this year.
“StarKist is a key partner in the economic development of the territory and we are therefore pleased with the company’s commitment to its long-term future in American Samoa,” the governor wrote.
Samoa News should note that the lease does not cover any government land for the proposed expansion of the cannery’s property in Satala where the old ASPA administration building, which was destroyed by the 2009 tsunami, was located.
THE NEW COMMENTS PROCESS
To make comments, you will need to register. You can register under your real name or use a 'screen' name. This way, people will be able to follow comments and make comments back and forth to each other. If you choose to use a 'screen name' no one will know your true identity. In either case, no email addresses will be available to anyone. It is an automated process. If you have questions, email: email@example.com
You currently are not logged in, please LOGIN to post comments.