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US territories, freely associated states receive $5.2M in federal grants for utilities maintenance

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs has announced $5.3 million in Maintenance Assistance Program grant funding for fiscal 2023 that will support programs and projects benefitting American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the freely associated states: the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau.

“Maintenance and upkeep are necessary for the islands where the warmer weather, higher humidity, and the saltwater environment cause faster degradation of equipment and buildings,” said Carmen G. Cantor, assistant secretary for Insular and International Affairs. “All across the Insular Areas, OIA’s Maintenance Assistance Program is making a difference in small and big ways.”

Projects and programs funded through MAP in fiscal year 2023 for the insular areas follow:  

Guam - $839,150

  • $644,800 to the Guam Public Broadcasting Service to upgrade the power infrastructure in support of more reliable broadcasting services; and

  • $194,350 to the Guam Community College for increasing facilities maintenance capabilities project.

Northern Mariana Islands - $1,097,640

  • $827,640 to the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation for the Granular Activated Carbon System Monitoring and Maintenance project at ten water production wells on Saipan; and

  • $270,000 to the Northern Marianas Technical Institute for the Fuetsan i Futurata pilot project to teach and train local laborers in construction and maintenance skills.

American Samoa - $750,280

  • $544,780 to the American Samoa Power Authority for the lineman training and development program;

  • $150,000 to the Department of Parks and Recreation for renovation at the Tia Seu Lupe or Star Mound Historical Site, in Ottoville, Tufuna; and

  • $55,500 to the American Samoa Telecommunications Authority for the Geographic Information System Mapping and Survey Software & Hardware project.

U.S. Virgin Islands - $904,060

  • $318,816 to the Virgin Islands Water & Power Authority for the Water Department Equipment program;

  • $210,353 to the water authority for the substation maintenance program.

  • $189,000 to the Department of Agriculture for the acquisition of a front-end loader, and

  • $185,891 to the Fire Service and Emergency Services for the acquisition of a quick attack pumper/brush truck.

Federated States of Micronesia - $273,600

  • $165,000 to the Yap State Public Services Corp. for the Pacific Lineman Training Program, a regional program that includes the territories and each of the states in the freely associated states in the Western Pacific;

  • $108,600 to the Pohnpei Utilities Corp. for the construction and extension of pipeline with power line for the centrifugal pump project in Pohnpei.

Marshall Islands - $821,242

  • $315,000 to the Majuro Water and Sewer Company for the pump and collection system renewal program;

  • $256,242 to the Majuro Atoll Waste Company for Waste Collection Improvement and Expansion project on Majuro; and

  • $250,000 to the Ministry of Health for the remodeling of the Section 177 clinic project, also on Majuro.

Palau - $612,768

  • $532,730 to the Ministry of Health and Human Services for the Belau National Hospital Renovations project.

  • $80,038 to the Palau Public Utilities Corp. for the Babeldaob water quality monitoring project.

MAP funds are discretionary and may only fund maintenance-related needs and training in the Insular Areas. The Technical Assistance Program, an additional discretionary funding program, may support a more diverse pool of needs benefitting the Insular Areas, some of which were announced by Secretary Haaland on her recent trip to the Pacific.

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