$7.3 million in Infrastructure Funding Released to American Samoa

To Bolster Health, Education, Transportation, and Water Projects; Provide Critical Maintenance Funds

9/25/2015
Last edited 11/30/2020

Tanya Harris Joshua 202-208-6008
Tanya_Joshua@ios.doi.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 25, 2015) – Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Esther Kia’aina today announced the release of more than $7 million in grant funding to American Samoa through the Office of Insular Affairs’ (OIA) Capital Improvement Project (CIP) Program.  The funds support Governor Lolo Moliga’s priorities and much needed improvements to critical infrastructure in the territory.

“These infrastructure projects are vital to economic development in American Samoa as they bolster the territory’s transportation, health, education, and water systems,” said Assistant Secretary Kia’aina. “I am particularly pleased to support the repair of public school buildings as part of OIA’s Insular Assessment of Buildings and Classrooms (ABCs) Initiative. The funding will be used to address high-priority health and safety deferred maintenance items identified in our most recent assessment of school buildings in the territories.”

Grants awarded this week were as follows:

  • $1,000,000 to implement maintenance and repairs to public schools as established in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered into by the Office of Insular Affairs, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Territory of American Samoa to address critical health and safety structural repairs.  The deferred maintenance reduction program will begin in January 2016, and current funds will be used to address electrical, fire alarm installation, plumbing system, and roofing repairs.  Implementation of this MOU is guided by the Assessment of Buildings and Classrooms (Insular ABCs) Initiative and  follows  a  USACE  visit  to  American  Samoa  in  July  to  finalize  the  operating agreement, identify work plan priorities and conduct a school facilities management workshop for American Samoa Department of Education staff.   The Insular ABC assessment shows that deferred maintenance items in the Territory total $13 million.
  • $300,000 to the Department of Port Administration to provide the required local match to federal funding received from the Federal Aviation Administration. The match will enable FAA projects which include improvements to the Airport Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting (ARFF) Facility, upgrades to runway lights, and a new security perimeter fence at the Fiti’uta Airport.
  • $1,939,180 to supplement prior year grant funding and local funding for the design and construction of a ferry vessel to provide reliable passenger/cargo transportation to and from the Manu’a Islands. Not only will the vessel improve services and trade between the capital Pago Pago and the Manu’a Islands but will also provide safer, more comfortable and more efficient travel.  The vessel, being built to meet U.S. Coast Guard requirements will be 140 feet in length, and have capacity for 100 passengers, cargo, diesel fuel for Manu’a power plants, vehicles and other heavy equipment.    The total project cost stands at $13 million with OIA providing $9 million in CIP funding and American Samoa providing an additional $4 million.
  • $940,000 to the American Samoa Shipyard for procurement of equipment and supplies needed to restore the 3,000 ton slipway, the shipyard’s top revenue generator and only provider of dry-docking services.  The slipway will be restored to meet required tuna fisheries and maritime industries standards making this project of high economic development value and a priority for the Territory as a whole.
  •  $500,000  to  provide  a  fully  equipped  and  operational  Primary  Care  Center  in Faga’alu.  An existing building that houses Physical Exams and the Well Baby Clinic will be renovated and upgraded to include six exam rooms, three medical offices, a staff conference room, two full locker rooms for clinical staff, and two lavatories.  The center will also be expanded to add a patient waiting area, receptionist desk, nursing area, and space for records management.
  • $100,000 for Samoana High School to furnish a new two-story classroom building which houses eight classrooms, a computer laboratory and restrooms.  Construction on the building is ongoing at the high school using prior year CIP funding.
  • $1,000,000 to the American Samoa Power Authority for improvements to the water distribution system. Upgrades to water mains will allow for installation of fire hydrants in neighborhoods that currently lack these fire protection measures.
  • $1,000,000 for the Pago Pago International Airport to remove a public safety hazard by relocating the fuel tank farm from its current location at the rear of the airport public parking lot, deemed to be the territory’s single most significant terrorism vulnerability by both the FAA and the Department of Homeland Security.  Existing equipment that is approaching the end of its useful lifespan will also be replaced.
  • $464,850 of funding will be set aside for implementation of a long-term preventative maintenance program for all CIP-funded infrastructure projects in American Samoa.

The Department of the Interior is responsible for coordinating federal policy with respect to the territories of American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and administering and overseeing U.S. federal assistance provided to the Freely Associated States of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau under the Compacts of Free Association.  The Office of Insular Affairs mission is to foster economic opportunities, promote government efficiency, and improve the quality of life for the people of the insular areas.

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