Lolo welcomes push for Faleasao wharf as fed area
Based on a recommendation by Congressman Faleomavaega Eni, the Lolo Administration will be taking the necessary steps to have the federal government designate as a “federal area” the Faleasao wharf in Manu’a, which will expedite needed improvements to the Ta'u island port.
This and other information pertaining to wharves in Manu’a was outlined in a July 3 letter from Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga who thanked the Congressman for relaying the results of Faleomavaega's inquiries with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Hawai’i regarding the “urgency of maintaining our harbors and wharfs in Manu’a.”
Lolo says he appreciates very much the Congressman’s efforts “in support of local initiatives attempting to improve our economic infrastructure necessary to the advancement of our economic goals.”
According to the governor, the Congressman’s direct inquiries with the Army Corps “added impetus and reaffirmed the importance of these projects to our efforts to develop the Manu’a islands.”
“I know you share my concerns over years of negligence with regard to addressing infrastructure issues in the Manu’a islands,” Lolo wrote to Faleomavaega. “Encouraging repopulation of the Manu’a islands hinges on the availability of quality services as well as being assured the ability to travel to Tutuila and back without complications.”
Lolo also says that he is considering securing funds—as recommended by the Congressman—from ASG’s fiscal year 2014 Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) to address dredging maintenance work for the Manu’a harbors.
“The most urgent project is the Faleasao dredging maintenance which is not under the administrative and funding purview of the Army Corps of Engineers,” said Lolo, who added that he will revisit ASG’s CIP allocations for FY 2013 and FY 2014 and determine priority needs before going back to the Congressman with the readjustments of CIP allocations.
He said the U.S. Interior Department’s Office of Insular Affairs will be kept abreast of these deliberations.
Lolo also says that the Congressman’s recommendation to process an application to have Faleasao harbor designated a Federal area, which compels the Army Corps’ oversight, is appreciated "and we will take steps to advance this issue.”
FY 2014 begins Oct. 1, 2013, and under OIA’s FY 2014 budget proposal submitted to the U.S. Congress as part of the DOI budget, American Samoa is to receive $10.04 million in CIP funds, which are already allocated, with $2 million to the LBJ Medical Center, $3.4 million “to provide quality education for a growing population of students” and other allocations, including those for roads, a new correctional facility building for men, water services and Port Administration.
However, re-adjustment of allocations can be done with justification and must be approved by the federal government.