$33K+ estimated for 'temporary dressing rooms' for faipule
While the government is working on ways to reduce spending to ensure that ASG doesn’t overspend at the end of the current fiscal year 2017, a report distributed to House members earlier this week shows an estimated cost of more than $30,000 for the construction of “temporary dressing rooms” for the House of Representatives, which currently utilizes the North Wing of the Gov. H. Rex Lee Auditorium (Fale Laumei).
The House has been using this temporary location, since the Fono convened its current Legislative session on July 10th because the main Fono building in Fagatogo will soon be demolished. For the Senate, sessions and committee hearings are being held inside the Samoan Guest Fale at the Fono compound.
It was Wednesday morning that the report was distributed to House members prior to the start of the regular session. Some lawmakers were overheard voicing concerns over the large amount of money to be allocated for the construction of temporary dressing rooms — which would also be used as offices for House members — at the Fale Laumei.
Some lawmakers are concerned, saying there are other urgent needs within government, such as road conditions, an issue that the public continues to bombard their faipule with, on a daily basis. Others questioned the reason for the temporary rooms, while some believe the issue should have been presented on the House floor for discussion.
However, not a single faipule raised or even questioned the report when the House session convened that day.
The nine-page report, which includes the July 18th cover letter from Commerce Department director Keniseli Lafaele to House Speaker Savali Talavou Ale, provides construction quotes from four local businesses for the services they will provide.
(Samoa News notes that DOC oversees the daily operations of the Fale Laumei.)
The letter followed discussions between Savali and Lafaele “regarding the construction of temporary dressing rooms while the House is utilizing” the Fale Laumei “and dressing rooms for the next two to three years,” according to the cover letter.
Lafaele also included “complete quotations listing all needed material for the temporary dressing rooms in order to maintain the auditorium’s full operations.” The quotes do not include labor, utility — water and sewer — hookups, and the relocation of the ASTCA line that would run above the temporary dressing rooms’ location.
It’s also unclear what area of the Lee Auditorium would the rooms be built on.
The cover letter shows an estimate total of $33,814.38 for the project: $540 for “mix & sand” to be provided by Vailu’u & Sons; $400 for “amplimesh wire” to be provided by K & K Island Star Corporation; $31,938.86 for building supplies for temporary dressing rooms from the Tool Shop; and $935.52 for electrical supplies from Neil’s ACE Home Center.
Quote sheets from each of the four vendors, provided a breakdown of each purchase item and cost.
It's unclear at this point who the contractor would be, and when the work would commence. A copy of the cover letter has been sent to the Governor and Public Works.
Samoa News is not quite sure how exactly the term “dressing room” is being used by the DOC and House.
A dressing room is identified in wikipedia.org as a “changing room, locker room… area designated for changing one's clothes” — usually in privacy. It sometimes includes showers and washrooms.