$2.75 million federal grants awarded


WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 22, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — 82 Section 8 homes to go solar — Pacific Wind and Solar of Saipan will get $1,359,489 to install solar power systems on Northern Marianas Housing Corporation low-income housing. 82 homes will be equipped with enough commercial-grade solar panels to generate 3 kilowatts of electricity, about 70 percent of the need for each household. The money that residents will save on their CUC bills can stay in our local economy, instead of paying for foreign oil. Congress funds the High Energy Cost program each year to help communities, such as the Northern Marianas, where the price for home energy exceeds 275 percent of the national average. Grants are available to businesses, non-profit groups, and local government.

$382,000 for new transformers will save CUC a quarter of a million dollars yearly — The Commonwealth Utilities Corporation will be able to buy and install 63 replacement transformers with $382,000 received this week, also from the High Energy Cost Grant program. The transformers being replaced have too much capacity, which results in line losses of up to 30 percent. Right-sizing the transformers is expected to reduce costs by $265,735 per year, a saving that CUC can pass on to consumers. In addition to lowering CUC bills consumers, making the system more efficient means burning less of the fossil fuel that contributes to global warming and the severe weather conditions that warming produces.

$390,000 FAA grant awarded for Tinian Airport — The Commonwealth Ports Authority is receiving $390,348 to improve the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting building at Tinian International Airport. The funds, administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation, will also be used to upgrade the ARFF vehicle water refill system. Congratulations to CPA.

$350,000 for Karidat — The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women has awarded $350,000 to Karidat Social Services. Congress provides the funding to help victims of sexual assault or domestic violence get the counseling, jobs or job training, child care, transportation, and other services they need to reenter the community. Karidat is partnering with Guma’ Esperansa, the Commonwealth Women’s Association, the Commonwealth Health Corporation, the Department of Labor-Workforce Investment Agency, Micronesian Legal Services Corporation, Green Meadows Daycare, the Mayors’ Offices, and the Department of Public Safety. Congratulations!

$100,000 Adult Medicaid Quality Grant awarded to CHCC – As part of the Affordable Care Act, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation has won $100,000 in competitive grant funds to support the Medicaid office to test, collect, and report new developmental quality measures. The funding will also support efforts to increase use of contraception to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Congratulations CHCC!

$110,000 awarded to MINA for marine debris removal — The Mariana Islands Nature Alliance now has $110,00 to use to reduce litter by placing trash and recycling bins at island beaches popular with locals and tourists. MINA will also be raising awareness about the hazard that marine debris poses to humans and the environment, by developing a curriculum for students in grades 1 through 6 in Chamorro and Carolinian. Congratulations MINA!

$49,427 to support victims of sexual assault — The Criminal Justice Planning Agency is receiving $49,427 in federal funds for its Sexual Assault Services Program. This funding has doubled as a result of language I included in the Violence Against Women Act in 2013. The money supports a rape crisis center and nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations that help victims of sexual assault. The CNMI Criminal Justice Planning Agency manages the funds. Congratulations.

$10,044 John R. Justice grant helps law school loan repayments — Attorneys who commit to employment as public defenders or state prosecutors for a minimum of three years are eligible for help in paying off their student loans. The Commonwealth’s Criminal Justice Planning Agency was awarded $10,444 from the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Grant Program this week. CJPA is responsible for outreach, education, and solicitation of applications from eligible beneficiaries. Congratulations.

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