CNMI SEEKS $338 MILLION IN ‘STIMULUS’ FUNDING

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Grant writers busy making proposals to federal government

SAIPAN, CNMI (Mariana Variety, March 6, 2009 )-The projects that the CNMI government wants to be funded by the economic stimulus package will cost $338.5 million and the team assigned to write the grants is expected to come up with more projects next week.

The team is using one of the conference rooms at the Commonwealth Health Center as temporary office while the government centralizes the preparation of various grant proposals.

Department of Commerce Secretary Michael Ada, who heads the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act coordination office, said in an interview yesterday that the team of 10 grant writers from the government and private entities has been busy working on grant applications from different government agencies.

CHC, he said, has provided the team with a facility that will allow the members to concentrate on their tasks.

He said he cannot say which conference room they are using "because we don’t want to be bothered as we face a very tight deadline."

After a meeting last week, administration officials decided to bring together in one place all the department representatives assigned to write grant applications.

Ada said they started writing the grants this week so they can prepare them for submission to the federal agencies.

He said they take every proposal into consideration.

IT&E, he added, is assisting the team.

"And we’re very thankful for that," Ada said. "If there’s any other private entity that would also like to help by all means, just call me." The Commerce telephone number is 664-3018.

Yesterday, he said the team worked on some of their most challenging tasks.

He said not all the proposals will qualify, but the team has talented grant writers on board.

According to Ada, the $48 million that the CNMI is getting from the stimulus package is just one of the funds available.

"There’s a lot more," he said.

The $338.5 million grant proposals to be submitted by the CNMI will fund 30 projects of the Commonwealth Utilities Corp., the biggest one amounts to $31.5 million.

The team will also submit four projects for the Department of Public Works. These include a secondary road paving project and the drainage improvement of 7.51 miles of a gravel road on Saipan amounting to $27.6 million.

Marianas Variety: http://icnmi.com 

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