US Territories To Pay Less For Army Corp Projects

admin's picture

Federal law increases cost-share waiver for construction

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, June 11, 2014) – American Samoa and other U.S. territories are getting an increase in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers local cost-sharing waiver, which according to two Congressional delegates has been signed into law by President Barack Obama.

This means the territories will pay a smaller share of the cost of projects, as the current waiver has been in place for close to three decades. The new waiver is based on provisions of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA),

In announcing the measure signed into law, Congressman Faleomavaega Eni said in a statement yesterday that the provision will increase the local cost-sharing waiver from $200,000 to as much as $430,000 for all projects and studies in the Territories.

"This increase in the local cost-sharing waiver will greatly help the American Samoa Government, especially considering that most of our civil works projects are with the assistance of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers," Faleomavaega said.

"It is unfortunate that this waiver has not increased by one cent since 1986 but we are grateful that this Congress as well as the President recognized the need to support our Territorial governments that continue to face severe economic and fiscal challenges," he said.

Last September, the Congressional delegations from the territories wrote to the U.S. Reps. Bill Shuster (chairman) and Nick Rahall (Ranking Member) of the House Committee on Transportation requesting their assistance in increasing the local cost-sharing waiver— that had not been increased since 1986, even with inflation.

Congressman Gregorio Kilili Sablan of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands who spearheaded the effort said in a statement issued yesterday, the provision requires the Army Corps to increase a waiver of the local cost-share to adjust for inflation over the last three-decades.

According to the statement, the precise dollar amount of the new waiver— which is estimated to be $400,000—has to be calculated by the Army Corps using economic data on the rate of inflation over the last 28 years.

Sablan’s office has already been in touch with the Army Corps.

"This should be a fairly straightforward calculation. And we would like see the new, higher waiver amount available soon so that projects move forward based on the lowered local cost," Sablan said.

Both Faleomavaega and Sablan expressed sincere appreciation to Shuster and Rahall for their support to include this provision for the territories.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment