Marianas Variety

Last updateThu, 21 Nov 2019 12am







    Wednesday, November 20, 2019-3:53:26A.M.






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FEMA to obligate $84M for NMI school construction projects

THE Federal Emergency Management Agency will obligate $84 million for school-related projects of the Public School System, Northern Marianas College, and five non-profit private schools, FEMA external affairs officer Veronica Verde said.

The funds should be obligated within 60 to 90 days, she added.

Verde said construction “project approvals vary depending on complexity, collection of supporting documentation, demonstrated compliance with environmental and historical laws, regulations, and insurance settlement.”

In August 2019, Variety reported that PSS was still waiting for FEMA’s approval of the project worksheets for the repair of schools damaged by Typhoon Yutu in Oct. 2018.

To date, Verde said, FEMA has obligated $3.6 million to PSS for the repair of Tinian Jr. /Sr. High School, Chalan Kanoa Head Start/Early Head Start, San Antonio Head Start, Joaquina Mareham Head Start, Tinian Head Start, Kagman High School and the PSS Pupil Transportation Facility.

The FEMA officer said the federal agency is working closely with the applicants to validate project costs and finalize applications.

“The volume of work is high, and recovery continues,” she added.

Verde said PSS and NMC are both exploring how to leverage FEMA assistance to meet educational facility needs on Saipan for years to come.

“We expect that good planning together will help meet that goal,” Verde added.

She said FEMA reimburses state and local governments and certain types of private nonprofit organizations for the cost of disaster-related debris removal, emergency protective measures to protect life and property, and permanent repair work to damaged or destroyed infrastructure under FEMA’s Public Assistance or PA Program.

PA applicants can start projects even before FEMA awards the money because they will be reimbursed, Verde said.