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    Friday, September 20, 2019-9:58:09A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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NMI to receive over $100M in federal aid for Mangkhut, Yutu

THE CNMI expects to receive more than $100 million in federal assistance for the Typhoon Mangkhut and Super Typhoon Yutu recovery efforts, the Office of Management and Budget told the House of Ways and Means Committee.

Of the total amount, OMB said the Commonwealth has received $24.6 million for the costs associated with the Emergency Operations Center; food for the EOC staff; airfare, hotel rentals, equipment, transportation of mutual aid crew workers on Saipan, Tinian and Rota; generators and fuel for critical facilities; purchase of protective equipment and tools; expedited shipping of emergency materials and equipment; 16 shelters on Saipan, three on Tinian, two on Rota, one at the Aging Center and one in Kagman; and food, water, and other essential commodities distributed to all the three islands.

For Typhoon Mangkhut, OMB said the CNMI will receive $650,939.54 in federal assistance.

For Super Typhoon Yutu, the approved amount is $109 million, OMB added.

For Typhoon Yutu, the federal share of assistance was designated at 75/25 federal/local but this was subsequently adjusted to 90/10, OMB said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s assistance for Super Typhoon Yutu is broken down as follows:

For debris removal, $1.7 million; for protective measures, $24.65 million; for public buildings, over $60,000; and for public utilities, $63.88 million.

OMB noted that “the total approved project worksheet does not include repair or replacement costs for critical facilities (Public School System/Northern Marianas College) currently under review.”

OMB said the CNMI is also requesting an additional $277 million in federal assistance for “other needs,” Public Assistance Program and hazard mitigation. But this requires a 10 percent non-federal cost share from the CNMI.

“We recommend that any unobligated fund balance from the appropriations to Typhoon Mangkhut be re-appropriated to cover the non-federal cost share for [Other Needs Assistance] for Super Typhoon Yutu, including the enactment of legislation mirroring Public Law 18-51 to appropriate current and future [Marianas Public Land Trust] interest distribution to meet the Commonwealth’s obligations associated with emergency response to Yutu; or the establishment of a revolving line of credit up to $10 million for a period not to exceed three years,” OMB said.

It added that it is anticipating the “redirection of Covenant Section 702 capital improvement program funds to cover the cost of all infrastructure projects associated with the permanent work. We encourage the Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs to redirect 100 percent of the Section 702 funding appropriated yearly to the CNMI amounting to $27.72 million for the purpose of rebuilding a resilient CNMI community.”