Payout of $70K for Pago water project disputed
There was a total of $70,000 issued from the Eastern District funding for the Pago Pago Village water project according to the ledger report, which members of the Pago Pago Village Council are disputing.
Pulu Ae Ae Jr and Pago Pago Representative Va’amua Henry Sesepasara told Samoa News they are only aware of a $25,000 check issued to Hudson Contracting Company, which built the village water project.
The three districts, Eastern, Western and Manu’a, each received in 2009, $1million to carry out capital improvement projects from a $20 Million loan the government made with the ASG Employees Retirement Fund.
(Samoa News points out that the districts actually received only $900,000, as 10% of the money ($100K) was ‘used’ for administrative costs. To date, there is no public record as to what exactly these administrative costs entailed.)
According to the Eastern Ledger list, Pago Pago Village Council received $25,000 (Ch#1373) on March 9, 2010. Also on March 9, 2010, a check was issued to Hudson Contracting Company in the amount of $25,000 (Ch#1425).
Then, another check was issued to the Pago Pago Village project on May 21, 2010 for $20,000 (Ch#1497) and Samoa News understands all three checks were allegedly for the Pago Pago Village Water project.
However, Pulu Ae Ae Jr told Samoa News, he was aware of only one check in the amount of $25,000 issued to Hudson Contracting Company for the work on the Pago Pago water project up in the mountains.
Pulu explained that Pago Pago used their share of the funding for their water project, given that American Samoa Power Authority could not assist their village in attaining water from the mountains for residents in the high areas of their village.
Samoa News asked about the other two checks issued to the Pago Pago Village Council, and Pulu noted he was unaware of the other two checks issued to their village council — for the water project or otherwise. He reiterated that he only knew of the one $25,000 check, issued directly to Hudson Construction, and it was for their village’s water project.
Misaalefua Hudson, owner of Hudson Contract Company told Samoa News that he vaguely recalled that his company received $3,000 from the Pago Pago Village Council for the project.
Samoa News asked Misa’alefua about the $25,000 check, which he stated he has no knowledge of, and noted that his business partner, Pago Pago Rep. Va’amua should be able to answer any questions on the issue.
Va’amua told Samoa News that he supervised that water project and he, too is surprised that there were three checks issued to Pago Pago for the same project.
Pulu and Va’amua said they will ask for the whereabouts of the other two checks, because there was only check of $25,000 (they are aware of) — which was for the water project.
According to Va’amua, Maoputasi County received $200,000 and he believes the villages of Aua, Leloaloa, Atu’u, Pago Pago, Fagatogo, Utulei, Fagaalu and Fatu-ma-Futi each received $25,000.
“It’s unfair the way this funding was distributed, given that Fatu-ma-Futi only has a handful of homes while other villages have hundreds of families,” said Va’amua.
In reviewing the ledger, Samoa News points out that from Aug. 27, 2010 to Nov. 1, 2010 the Eastern District Ledger indicates a payroll for more than ten men and the checks they received vary from $96 to $144, which total up to $16,345.65.
Samoa News was told by an anonymous source, that these men were hired by the Faga’alu Village Mayor, Uso Va Lago’o to assist with Faga’alu projects, namely cementing four streams in the village.
According to the ledger, the Faga’alu Village Mayor received a check of $4,975 (Ch#1788) issued on June 16, 2011. Efforts to obtain comments from Uso were unsuccessful as of press time. There are a total of nine batches of checks issued for Faga’alu’s payroll, with the first checks issued on August 27, 2010 where eleven men received checks totaling $864.
The following information reveals the dates, and how many men were paid, with totals:
August 30, 2010- 11 men were paid totaling $1296;
September 7, 2010- 15 men paid total $1,560;
September 10, 2010- 13 men were paid total $1,506;
September 23, 2010- 15 men were paid total $1,650;
September 28, 2010- 17 men were paid total $2,280;
October 05, 2010-17 men were paid, total $1,926;
October 19, 2010- 16 men were paid total $1812;
October 26, 2010-17 men totaled $1,587.65; and, on
November 01, 2010- 17 men were paid which totaled $1,864.
Aside from Faga’lu’s payroll, other individuals who received checks are listed as follows:
08/27/10 Fuiava Avaloa $200 (Ch#1519),
08/27/10 Iatala Fuata $200 (Ch#1521), Fuiava Avaloa $300 (Ch#1791)
06/16/11 Ioane Afamasaga $775 (Ch#1824)
11/30/11 Fa’anamatu Tago $448 (Ch#1825)
11/30/11 Pito Taua $448 (Ch#1826)
11/30/11 Iosua Tavui $448 (Ch#1827)
11/30/11 Iualai Afamasaga $448 (Ch# 1828)
11/30/11 Vaigalepa Aleki $448 (Ch#1829)
11/30/11 Ioane Afamasaga $2,800 (Ch#1880)
03/31/12 Isa’ako Mata’utia $400 (Ch#1881)
05/01/12 Talauega Pepe Pola $1920 (Ch#1891)
Samoa News has been unable to find out why these individuals received checks.
Other businesses listed on the Eastern Ledger List as receiving payment for services or materials are as follows:
Vailu’u Trucking’s $13,210
ACE Rental Place/ACE American Industries $51,731.90
Continental Transport $13,840
CBT Ho Ching True Value/CBT Hardware $66,232.52
Tools Inc/Tool Shop $52,339.80
FTK Corporation $14,000
Sepps Paint Shop $2,005.78
T&T Inc $2,125
ATL Composites Pty Ltd $15,000
Wulf Corporation $19,750
Pisisami Trucking $6,000
Asifoa & Sons $9,880
IBACE Incorporated $79,890
Hollister General Services Inc $3,100
Tony Construction $27,000
Samoa News has not been able to confirm where exactly these supplies and services rendered were used. We do know that obviously there was some construction jobs, as many of the companies are associated with such work, i.e. IBACE is an engineering company, while there are six companies listed that their main work is hauling cinder loads, and three of the main companies in the territory which stock building supplies are also listed; while there are at least 2 construction companies included.
Of interest, is the $15,000 paid to ATL Composites Pty Ltd, which when Googled, lists two types of companies using the same name. The first type is a “formulator and manufacturer of epoxy resins for laminating and adhesives” with several companies — in Australia and New Zealand, while the other is an Australian graphic design company. One of the ATL Composites Pty Ltd companies is listed as an “epoxy formulator and supplier of composite materials and engineering, for the construction of high performance, lightweight structures…” and is identified in Yachting Pages.