Dept of Homeland Security will move into new home by August
The local Department of Homeland Security plans to relocate to its new home, that was formerly known Ottoville Center One, by August this year. The two story Center was owned by Haleck Enterprises Inc. and sold to the territorial government to the tune of $1.5 million.
The purchase, which includes the 1.22 acre land, was funded by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, and will provide for a centralized location for three of the four divisions of ASDHS.
Three divisions relocating to the new building are slated to be completed by August this year, according to the ASDHS’ FY 2013 second quarter performance report. The new building will in fact house the entire ASDHS operations, except for the Office of Vital Statistics which will maintain its current location in Fagaalu.
Former ASDHS director Mike Sala had sought funding for this purchase and in January this year, FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate approved the request.
Fugate cited provisions of the federal Homeland Security Act, which “allows for such purchase if it achieves target capabilities related to preventing, preparing for, protecting against or responding to acts of terrorism.”
“The consolidation of emergency management and security operations for enhanced coordination and operations will without doubt aid preventing, preparing for, protection against, or responding to acts of terrorism; as well as assist in preparing for and responding to any disaster that would face American Samoa,” he said.
ASDHS noted in the performance report that all 48 sirens of the out-door siren system are now in place, with the last siren installed on Ofu island in March. (Installation on Ofu island had been delayed due to land issues with the owners and it appears that those issues have been resolved.)
The siren system is funded by the federal government and contracted to U.S. based American Signal Corporation (ASC)
There are now 41 sirens on Tutuila, one on Aunu’u and six in the Manu’a island group. The sirens, which are equipped with pre-recorded audio messages in both Samoan and English languages, are tested on the first Friday of each month.
Recently ASC carried out a scheduled maintenance of the siren system and this included the replacement of certain components and all stand-by batteries, as covered under the maintenance warranty.