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CNMI receives $3.47M in technical aid

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs has announced $3.47 million in fiscal 2022 Technical Assistance Program and Maintenance Assistance Program grant funding for the Northern Mariana Islands through government and public semi-autonomous organizations.

“We are pleased to support the Northern Mariana Islands with support to build the capacity of government employees and acquire heavy equipment needed to improve public services,” said Carmen G. Cantor. assistant secretary for Insular and International Affairs. “This important grant funding is also crucial in helping support safety in schools for the students, improve hospital services, and support food security initiatives.”

The Technical Assistance Program grants totaling $2.38 million will be provided to the following offices and organizations to benefit the CNMI as follows:

  • $298,081 for the Office of the Governor to support the Marianas Resilience and Sustainability Planning Group that aims to develop policy solutions and recommendations on matters affecting the CNMI and Guam on issues such as climate change, the labor market, health, economic initiatives, natural resources, the military buildup in the CNMI, education, renewable energy, and areas for collaboration across the Mariana Islands.

  • $180,669 for the Office of Grants Management & State Clearinghouse to build local capacity of government agencies in the CNMI in competing for and managing federal funds which help support the improvement of roads and highways, broadband and telecommunications, blue and green infrastructure, renewable energy, and legacy pollution among other areas.

  • $551,612 for the Department of Finance to complete the development and implementation of its Revenue Management Information System.

  • $45,348 for the Department of Commerce to fund a climate change and environmental literacy workshop for up to 500 government employees to develop knowledge and understanding of climate change and its impacts at the environmental, economic, and societal level. The aim is to help promote and implement climate-friendly policies and procedures across the government.

  • $106,763 for the Municipality of Rota to bolster the Rota Aquaponics Initiative in the planting, growing, and harvesting of aquaponic plants and fish, which contributes to developing food security on the island.

  • $214,946 for Rota Department of Fire and Emergency Services to finalize the completion of the Emergency Responders Radio Repeater Site Security and Improvement Project

  • $468,120 for the Commonwealth Ports Authority

    • $356,120 to purchase a Light Rescue Utility Truck for the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Department at the Saipan International Airport.

    • $112,000 for fire system upgrades and sprinkler repair in the Customs and Border Protection’s Federal Inspection Service area at the Saipan International Airport.


  • $293,025 - Commonwealth Utilities Corporation

    • $152,625 to develop capacity in grant writing and grant management and improve opportunities to secure funding from federal agencies to help replace aging energy infrastructure and bring cleaner green energy to the Commonwealth.

    • $140,400 to train and certify employees to meet local and federal regulatory certification guidelines in water and wastewater management.

  • $227,058 for Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.

    • $157,664 to upgrade the hospital’s Public Address System, now 25 years old.

    • $ 69,394 to expand dental services from Saipan to the islands of Tinian and Rota through an inter-island teledentistry program.

The Maintenance Assistance Program grants totaling $1.08 million will be provided to the following agencies in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands as follows:

  • $403,146 - CNMI Public Schools for deferred school maintenance on Saipan and Tinian.

  • $339,937 - Department of Public Works to acquire an 18-Wheeler Tractor and Trailer Flat Bed for use to service roadway and stormwater drainage systems, especially necessary following storms and natural disasters.

  • $262,600 - Commonwealth Utilities Corporation to acquire a Backhoe Loader and a Water Pipe Trencher to support work in repairing leaks, pipe-laying, drainage access, etc.

  • $82,057 - Municipality of Tinian & Aguiguan for the renovation of the public restrooms at Jones Beach, a popular site on island where families gather for social occasions.

The Office of Insular Affairs’ Technical Assistance Program will complete its final reviews of applications and recommendations for fiscal 2022 grant awards by early September.

OIA reviews applications and the Assistant Secretary makes decisions to award based on a variety of factors, including the merit review factors included in the grant announcement on under CFDA #15.875, recommendations from the leadership from each of the Insular Areas, and letters of support for the projects. Consideration is also given to equity and fairness across all the island areas. (DOI)

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