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Concerns over funding road projects with bonds raised

joy@samoanews.com

Tualauta faipule Florence Saulo has taken issue with the Department of Public Work’s proposal to issue bonds as a funding source to finance various road projects.
 
 In her latest letter to Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga, Saulo inquired if the proposed funding source that was presented during a recent briefing was a future bond issue.
 
She pointed out that while bond funding is used all across the nation as a means for funding public works and infrastructure projects, such a mechanism has been rarely utilized in American Samoa.
 
“I believe that the Executive Office Building constitutes the one and only project that was funded using this means," she wrote.
 
"Because it is so rarely used, and because there are so many ancillary considerations such as bond ratings which are affected by ASG’s credit, and the availability of bonds offered by other municipal governments, I am fearful that this line of financing may be difficult to accomplish, and may leave these projects to languish, including the roads projects that are badly needed by Tualauta residents.”
 
She stated that another important reason that she’s inquiring is because of the time and energy that was expended in moving the Strategic Community Partnership initiative forward.
 
"Corralling the support and commitment of our business community and grassroots volunteers was no easy task. Nonetheless, these individuals and entities stand ready to participate in the development and progressing of infrastructure projects in the Territory, especially for the District of Tualauta.
 
“Furthermore, through collaboration with the Department of Public Works, and with your specific guidance, we put together the detailed estimates of the Pavaia’i Road, Kokoland Access Roads Parts 1 and 2, and Faleniu Access Road and Tafuna-Fagaima Road Projects. These estimates were requested by you and they are attached herewith for your information and review,” she noted.
 
Rep Saulo said part of her responsibility to her community partners is to update them regarding the status of these projects.
 
“I hope that you can understand my situation, as I look to advise my constituents and community partners of all developments regarding these important infrastructure initiatives,” she wrote.
 
The Tualauta faipule pointed out that as previously noted, inherent in any successful partnership is the willingness and dedication to work together toward a common goal and she would appreciate any information to share as to the status of our Strategic Community Partnership initiative approach — whether they should continue to move forward with the initiative, or whether they should await full funding from the bond issue.
 
The letter was also sent to Lt. Governor, Lemanu Peleti Mauga, Tualauta Senator Magalei Logovi’I, Tualauta faipule Larry Sanitoa, Director of Public Works Faleosina Voigt and Fa’alavai Ta’ase, Deputy Director of Public Works.
 
The cost estimates attached with her letter have: the Pava’ia’i village road at $112,275, Kokoland access roads Part 1 & 2 totals up to $547,614.23, the Faleniu access road $391,615.15 and the Tafuna- Fagaima access road at $103,636.89. 
 
Samoa News asked Rep. Saulo for the source of the cost estimates and was told that it was engineers from the Department of Public Works who assembled the estimates, and the actual construction will be done by members of the community in the affected areas.



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