- By Pacific island Times News Staff
Department of Agriculture’s CARES Act fisheries spend plan approved
The Department of Agriculture’s (DOAG) Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources (DAWR) will help distribute nearly $1 million to eligible fishers in Guam.
DAWR received approval of their spend plan and a notice to proceed. Guam is the first territory to be approved. Out of 31 eligible states and territories, Guam is 1 of the first 17 approved.
With this approval, DAWR is now ready to begin accepting and reviewing application packets to be processed for direct payments to fishers. Payments will be mailed directly to fishers by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.
Fishers who registered with DAWR, and were found to be eligible, may apply for the relief funding. Registration was a necessary first step in the relief process as it enabled DAWR to calculate payment amounts, which was an integral part of the spend plan.
“We are excited to finally be able to provide some relief to Guam’s fishers. It has been a long process but we can finally bring some fishers a little relief,” Agriculture Director Chelsa Muña-Brecht said.
a. All eligible applicants have already provided verified documentation to DAWR to validate revenue or subsistence claims.
b. Application packet will include application, sworn affidavit, and W-9.
c. Application packets are available via email, by appointment at the DAWR office, and on the DOAG website.
d. Application packets are due by November 30, 2020 and must be submitted to the DAWR office drop box located in the front of the DOAG main building or via email at email@example.com.
e. No application packets will be accepted after the due date.
f. DAWR will notify applicants of deficient applications. Applicants will be given three business days to address deficiencies.
Payment and Distribution of Funding
a. DOAG DAWR will receive all applications, review them for accuracy and completeness by cross referencing applications with data required at DAWR fisher registration, and forward to Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) for final approval and payment disbursement.
b. Payments will be processed by the PSMFC and a check will be mailed directly to the applicant.
c. Any funding received through the CARES Act is subject to federal and local tax requirements. The PSMFC is responsible for issuing 1099 Forms directly to the applicants and the Guam Department of Revenue and Taxation.