AMERICAN SAMOA GOVERNMENT
September 16, 2016
GOVERNOR LOLO ACCEPTS FAA GRANT AWARDS TOTALING $22 MILLION DOLLARS
Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga signed an agreement with the FAA on September 16, releasing over 22 million dollars for the relocation of the J-Fuel Tank Farm to a more secured area and to finance airport Improvement projects. The FAA Regional Manager Mr. Ron V. Simpson headquartered in Hawaii Airports District Office represented the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the grant signing event.
In his remarks, Governor Lolo expressed his appreciation to Honorable Secretary Foxx of the United States Department of Transportation for accommodating his request for assistance along with the expression of his gratitude to Mr. Ron V. Simpson and the Regional Office for this unexpected blessing. The Governor also acknowledged with profound appreciation and gratitude the President Gaoteote Pala’ie Tofau and the Senators as well as the Speaker of the House Savali Talavou Ale and the members of the House of Representatives for understanding the importance of the passage of the Resolution guaranteeing financial assistance to American Samoa’s International Airport of $2.5 for ten (10) years. This resolution represents one of the critical pieces of our mitigation plan responding to the Land Audit findings. According to Mr. Ron V. Simpson the passage of this Resolution and the positive response from the government with respect to addressing the audit findings fashioned a strong relationship between FAA and ASG which gave rise to the release of federal financial resources to the Territory of American Samoa.
The Governor also thanked the Legislative Leadership, Senators and the House of Representative Members for approving the addition of the $2,000,000 into the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget to provide required federal match for the $22 million of FAA funds. The relocation of the J-Fuel Tank Farm is estimated to cost $7.7 million and the remaining funds will be spent towards rehabilitating the airport lights, resurfacing parts of the runway and apron, and other small projects including the two Manu’a Airports. The last time FAA made this huge amount of financial contribution was back in 2000. It should be noted that the $22 million is for fiscal year 2016. Since some of the projects are implemented in phases, there will be funds made available in Fiscal Year 2017 to complete these projects. For example, the implementation of the J-Fuel Tank Farm relocation is in two (2) phases: Phase I involves the construction of a completely new J-Fuel Tank Farm with the same capacity and same configuration of the existing Tank Farm. Phase II involves the dismantling of the existing J-Fuel Tanks and repaying the parking lot.