ASG PROPOSED MONEY TO RELOCATE FAUTASI BOAT HOUSE
Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga is proposing in fiscal year 2014 under the Special Program budget category, $50,000 to relocate the Nu’uuli fautasi boat shelter currently located on government land at Utulei Beach.
According to the governor, room is being sought on the beach to accommodate ocean related activities such as sailing, canoeing etc. He says the relocation of the fautasi shelter frees land to house these water sports.
“The project constitutes one of our efforts geared to expand our visitor plan and at the same time provide opportunities for our children to gain skills in water sports,” said Lolo in the budget document, but didn’t explain where the Nu’uuli fautasi shelter will be relocated.
Sen. Soliai Tuipine Fuimaono said the government has allocated land at the Pago Park for the new fautasi shelter but he has not yet visited the proposed new site. He said this information was shared by the governor during a meeting Wednesday which he attended along with other Nu’uuli traditional leaders.
“I told the governor that $50,000 was not going to be enough to build a new fale (house) for our two fautasi. The current one in Utulei was something that our village rebuilt to accommodate our two boats,” Soliai told Samoa News on Thursday.
Soliai says the boat house at Utulei was originally built to house the Utulei fautasi ‘Televise’ many years ago but Nu’uuli was later able to use this location. He says Nu’uuli wasn’t paying any lease for the property, which was still leased to Utulei village, whose leaders— along with those from Fagatogo— were generous enough to allow Nu’uuli use this site.
Soliai wasn't sure if Nu’uuli will be asked to pay any lease for the proposed new location at Pago Park.
LAWMAKERS SEEK ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON BUDGETS
As the Fono joint budget hearings went into their fourth day yesterday, lawmakers are seeking more information from the government. For example, several lawmakers questioned department directors on their organizational charts, which weren’t yet available but were requested by the Fono two weeks ago.
Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee chairman Sen. Laolagi F.S. Vaeao said he has been informed that all organizational charts are with the governor for review and approval. Once the approval is done, copies will be provided to the Fono, he added.
Meanwhile, Laolagi on Thursday made a verbal requested to ASG Budget and Planning Office director Catherine Aigamaua-Saelua, who attends all budget hearings, for full details of the LBJ Medical Center’s FY 2014 budget.
As previously reported by Samoa News, the LBJ budget submission is only three pages but lacks any specific.
HIGH SCHOOL GYMNASIUM REPAIR FUNDING ALLOCATION
Some lawmakers plans to seeking additional information from the administration as to why there is a $100,000 allocation in FY 2014 under the Special Program budget category for “high school gymnasium improvements” when there is funding appropriated in the annual budget for Education Department school facility repairs.
Special Programs category is scheduled to be reviewed by the Fono joint budget committee hearings on Sept. 19th.
Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga explained in the budget document that existing high school gymnasiums require further improvements to accommodate the needs of the high schools. He says during heavy rain, entire gyms are soaked because of the absence of proper awnings.
Additionally, school assemblies or other school activities cannot be held in the gyms when the weather is rainy and windy and the requested funds will help build a canopy system to surround the gyms thus provide the facilities more protection during times of bad weather.