Fono in Review
TAFUNA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Rep. Puletuimalo Koko said during the confirmation hearing for Port Administration director Taimalelagi Dr. Claire Tuia Poumele that he hopes she proceeds with her goal of reviving the fire rescue program at the airport, saying the center could be used to train locals and others from the region. He also noted his concerns about McConnell Dowell digging rocks next to the airport runway and said this is something that needs to be reviewed. Taimalelagi said the airport engineer has already informed her about the changes made to the lease for McConnell Dowell to address the issue.
Rep. Taotasi Archie Soliai said for as long as he’s been a faipule, the airport budget has always been in the red. He said he understands the airport operates as an enterprise but he wonders if there are flaws in the budget proposals being submitted.
Rep. Faimealelei Allen reminded Taimalelagi that the government has no money and one of the things she needs to look into is the parking fee collection at the airport. The faipule said he was in a car with a constituent and the parking attendant let them pass without paying the fee.
He questioned the accountability measures in place for the parking tickets and said the government needs all the money it can get and the airport parking fee is one of the funding sources. Faimealelei again raised the issue involving the power outage at the Tafuna Airport two weeks ago where the airport’s stand-by emergency generator failed to kick in. He said preventive maintenance measures should be in place to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen again.
TUALAUTA FAIPULE THANKS GOV FOR ROAD WORK
Rep. Larry Sanitoa has written a letter to Governor Lolo Moliga thanking him for “taking immediate corrective action to expedite road repairs” in many of the high volume traffic roads that have been neglected with no maintenance for many years, especially the most frequently used roads in the Tualauta District.”
Sanitoa wrote, “It is with overwhelming gratitude that I express appreciation in knowing that as our leader, you are listening to the plight of the people who have been struggling with these deplorable roads for years, and you have given this a high priority in taking immediate action.”
Sanitoa said his only other request as was mentioned in Bishop John Quinn Weitzel’s letter is the immediate work at Ottoville/Fagaima, the Pavaiai/Aoloau road, and the extension to the Vaitogi road.
Sanitoa told Lolo he and his colleagues are reviewing several revenue options that may potentially increase the annual Road Maintenance Fund allocation. ”It is not always easy given our current economic condition, that any increases in the fuel tax will obviously be passed on to consumers. However, if we are serious about making tough and bold choices to improve the quality of life for our people, then we must collaboratively work and make these difficult decisions,” he concluded.