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NMI gets $300K grant for Tinian infrastructure upgrades  

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THE Commonwealth Bureau of Military Affairs was awarded a grant of over $300,000 through the Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot Program for the upgrade of utility infrastructure on Tinian, Special Assistant to the Governor for Military Affairs Glenna SP Reyes said.

In an email, Reyes said the funds were made available under the Consolidated Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2020.

“We appreciate Joint Region Marianas for notifying our office about this funding opportunity,” she added. “It came timely to support the efforts of the administration in addressing the funding shortfall for the Marpo Heights I, Phase II Subdivision roads (Road 205, Road 206, and seven connector roads) improvement project on the island of Tinian.”

She said the road improvement project includes the relocation of Commonwealth Utilities Corp. utility assets.

For his part, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said: “The funding will enable CUC to restore and upgrade island utilities within the road improvement project sites. The relocation and restoration of utility assets is a mission-critical component of Department of Defense's multi-phase Innovative Readiness Training project to address deficiencies that are critical to military operations for community-based response, military training requirements, and to improve the quality of life throughout the island. This is a direct benefit to the residents of Tinian, a 20-year-long critical infrastructure need that is finally coming into fruition. Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios and I look forward to the successful completion of the road improvement projects.”

Reyes noted that the grant was competitive.

Proposals, she added, were originally submitted in June 2020 to the Defense Community Infrastructure Program review panel for eligibility determination.

“A total of 109 proposals were submitted by 39 states throughout the mainland and the territories,” Reyes said. “Applicants with the highest-ranking proposals were invited to submit formal grant applications and our grant proposal is one of the 16 proposals awarded.”

Reyes said part of the application package requirement was an endorsement of the local installation commander representing the installation benefitting from the proposed project.

“The military leased area on Tinian and other military leased lands in the CNMI are part of a joint region installation, which falls under Joint Region Marianas. On behalf of Governor  Torres and Lt. Governor Palacios, I would like to extend our appreciation to Rear Adm. John Menoni, commander of Joint Region Marianas, for his support and endorsement of our grant proposal. The CNMI values its partnership with Joint Region Marianas and we thank Rear Admiral Menoni and his Team for their continuing support and partnership.”

She said 48 Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion-3 Detachment are on Tinian to continue the construction of Camp Tinian, which was started by the Seabees from the NMCB-5 Detachment earlier this year.

Camp Tinian will support military troops executing community infrastructure projects and the Tinian Divert Activities and Exercises program. Thirteen Seabees from the Underwater Construction Team Two are also on Tinian for underwater investigative work to finalize the scope of the wharf repair project. 

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