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CNMI gets more than $1M in fed grants including funds for ulu project

Northern Mariana Island Governor Eloy S. Inos launches the Micronesia Breadfruit Initiative in May 2014. The Micronesia Breadfruit Initiative (2014–16) is a project of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Saipan, representing the Governments of Guam, Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia. In partnership with University of Hawai’i Pacific Business Center Program. [photo from Youtube]
Source: CNMI govt media release

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres has just been informed by acting assistant secretary for Insular Areas Nikolao Pula that the Commonwealth has been awarded more than $1 million in finding through the Office of Insular Affairs’ Technical Assistance Program and the Maintenance Assistance Program for key community projects and public services.

TAP grants are awarded on an annual basis through an application process. TAP priorities include, but are not limited to, projects that foster development of an insular area in the following categories: accountability; financial management; economic development; training/education; energy; life; safety; and health issues. MAP grants are used to promote and develop insular institutions and capabilities that improve the operation and maintenance of island infrastructure. 

During the grant application process, Torres worked with the Office of Grants Management and various departments in outlining his priorities for key community projects and critical services. 

In his letter, Pula outlined the awards for the following TAP projects:

$440,000 to the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services for the procurement of a specialized vehicle—a 1,000-gallon four-crew pumper truck.

$240,000 to the Department of Public Safety to procure and purchase 10 patrol vehicles.

$146,789 to the Department of Lands and Natural Resources for Year 1 of the Ma’afala Breadfruit farming program initiative.

The Commonwealth also received $179,596 in MAP funding for the acquisition of a roll-off truck for the Lower Base Transfer Station.

Torres expressed his gratitude to the Office of Insular Affairs for working with him in securing grant awards that addresses his key priorities.

“I want to thank [Interior] Secretary [Ryan] Zinke and…Pula for their work in helping us secure these funds for some key priorities of our community. Our first responders, DPS and DFEMS, work within limited resources, but still do the best they can for all of us in the community. I am grateful that we are able to provide our officers and firefighters the resources they need to patrol our community and address emergency situations. I am pleased that we received funding for our new breadfruit program, which was started by [former governor Eloy S.] Inos, and is now a priority of the [Department of Lands and Natural Resources]. Lastly, the roll-off truck for the transfer station will help our staff make operations easier and effective. These are just some of my key priorities that I worked out with our grants team, and I will continue to work with my department heads to address more priorities for our community.”