Washington – U.S. Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, Doug Domenech announced $4.04 million in total fiscal year 2019 funding for maintenance assistance and related infrastructure projects for the benefit of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Palau.
“Maintenance and upkeep are critical to protecting equipment and infrastructure that are critical to these small island economies. We were also pleased to support training and professional development for utilities management and shipyard maintenance,” said Assistant Secretary Douglas Domenech. “This funding helps meet critical needs and we appreciate the support that Congress continues to provide for the island areas.”
The Maintenance Assistance Program for FY 2019, totaling $4,045,922 for all the insular areas is broken down by each insular area as follows:
America Samoa - $2,126,000
American Samoa Government’s Lyndon B. Johnson Tropical Medical Center underwent a Facility Assessment in 2019 - $400,000 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) – USACE conducted an on-the-ground assessment of the hospital in American Samoa as was required in report language under the 2019 Consolidated Appropriations Act directing OIA to provide information “on the condition of the hospital; the estimated cost of building a new hospital; the estimated cost of completing all renovations necessary to modernize the hospital; and estimates of whether a renovated facility has sufficient capacity to meet American Samoa's needs.” A copy of the report is available on the OIA website.
American Samoa Lyndon B. Johnson Tropical Medical Center - $1,359,000 awarded to complete maintenance projects identified by the 2019 USACE Facility Assessment to include purchase of new Air Handling units, 2) exterior wall repairs, 3) a new fire alarm system, 4) and a new medical gas system.
American Samoa Department of Public Safety - $287,000 awarded to provide maintenance training, systems improvement, and critical repairs to infrastructure to improve safety, security, and welfare of public safety services in the territory.
American Samoa Ronald Reagan Shipyard Authority - $80,000 awarded for Phase 2 of the Apprenticeship Training Program which incorporates internationally-recognized training and certification in welding, sandblasting and painting, valve and pipe-fitting, and heavy-equipment operation.
Guam – $123,000
Guam Department of Public Works - $103,000 awarded to purchase technical data reference software for use in managing and maintaining over 800 vehicles managed and maintained by the Guam Department of Public Works.
Guam Office of the Attorney General - $20,000 awarded to provide specialized equipment, tools, and supplies for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
Northern Mariana Islands - $499,630
Department of Public Works (DPW) - $279,025 awarded to purchase a tire shredder to recycle and repurpose rubber tires for other projects, such as road resurfacing.
Rota Municipal Government - $220,605 awarded to procure a hydraulic shipyard pedestal crane for the island of Rota. The crane is needed at the Rota Seaport Terminal to off-load critical food and cargo supplies, replacing the port’s broken and discontinued boom crane truck.
U.S. Virgin Islands – $502,580
Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museums - $300,000 was approved to restore and overhaul air conditioning units and generators as well as provide training opportunities for maintenance staff with the Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums.
Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Drill Pad Roof - $202,580 was approved for renovation of the JROTC drill pad at the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School in St. Thomas. Improvements will include a new awning to reduce health and safety risks for student cadets during formation, conducting, uniform inspection, or drill routines.
Federated States of Micronesia– $175,000
FSM Yap State Public Service Corporation - $175,000 awarded to provide an FSM Power Plant Operators Training Program which would provide eight weeks of training for all power plant operators in Chuuk (10 people), Pohnpei (20), and Yap (14). The program will include classroom instruction and on-the-job teaching of technical skills for power plant generation and operation.
Marshall Islands – $226,000
RMI Majuro Water and Sewer Company - $226,000 awarded to procure a dump truck, soil screener, heavy-duty trailer, and vibratory roller for use in the reparation and restoration of water main lines on Majuro Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
Belau National Hospital - $103,714 awarded to help rehabilitate the Hazardous Waste Unit, the Laundry Unit, and the Maintenance Unit at the Belau National Hospital in Palau. Funding will also be used to purchase a specialized truck designed with proper insulation and a storage tank to properly hold and transport bio waste safely from the hospital premises to the city dump site. This will eliminate the current use of regular pickup trucks that are not suitable for medical waste transport and pose great risk for spillage and exposure to contamination.
Pacific Insular Areas - $289,998
Yap State Public Service Corporation - $235,000 provided to fund the Pacific Lineman Program through which is offered 28 weeks of national recognized basic lineman training and certification for 76 power linemen from American Samoa, Guam, Pohnpei, Yap, Ebeye, Majuro, and Palau.
Pacific Power Association - $54,998 provided to support the Workshop to Introduce the Online Benchmarking Portal at the 28th Annual PPA conference. Funding will support participation and training for insular area utilities’ technical staff from American Samoa, Guam, the CNMI, the FSM, the RMI, and Palau. The online portal has been established to track certain performance indicators for each utility and can be found on the PPA website at: https://www.ppa.org.fj/benchmarking-portal/.
Maintenance Assistance Program funding provided through the Office of Insular Affairs is used to support, develop, improve, and as much as possible, institutionalize infrastructure maintenance practices in the seven insular areas. Funds can also be used for critical repairs to infrastructure.