The Office of the Governor, through the Office of Grants Management & State Clearinghouse, recently submitted two project proposals to the Northern Marianas Housing Corp. for the Community Development Block Grant for fiscal year 2018.
The two projects focused on increasing community security and recreation, totaling approximately $706,000.
For Saipan, OGM submitted a project to install lamp posts along the Kagman Pathway.
Currently, the entire Kagman pathway, beginning from Chacha Oceanview Middle School to the end of the Laolao Bay Golf & Resort, lacks proper lighting. This poses hazards to both pedestrians and drivers alike.
After daylight hours, drivers are often unable to spot pedestrians prior to them crossing the roads.
Both OGM and the Office of the Governor identified the need for this proposal to mitigate the risks currently present due to the lack of light, especially with the increased foot traffic since the completion of the first phase of the Kagman Community Park.
This project proposes to install lamp posts beginning at the ChaCha Oceanview Middle School and ending before the entrance to the Laolao Bay Golf & Resort.
For Rota, a grant proposal was submitted to construct a roof and place lighting over the stage at the Sinapalo Children’s Playground Park. This will breathe new life into the park by allowing patrons to use the stage in the evening.
Jace Pineda, a project coordinator and grants specialist in OGM, noted that the need to increase security in the community.
“Opportunities such as the Community Development Block Grant are ones we definitely look forward to as we continue to work toward developing our islands’ village communities,” Pineda said.
Previous CDBG funding were used to enhance the Koblerville Youth Learning Center and revitalize the community park in San Vicente.
Ezra Lizama, a project coordinator and grants specialist in OGM, explained that these projects will provide the youth with a multitude of resources.
“The project will provide the tools and facilities to develop their social skills outside the classroom and school grounds, especially after school and on the weekends, thus helping deter juvenile mischief, delinquency, vandalism, graffiti, and other antisocial behavior,” Lizama added.
OGM’s first awarded proposal through the Community Development Block Grant was to revitalize and enhance the San Vicente Central Park.
Epiphanio E. Cabrera, Jr., administrator for OGM, gave thanks to NMHC for the continual coordination on key community projects.
“We are grateful that the Northern Marianas Housing Corp. invites entities to apply for this annual grant that allow them to focus on developing projects that are essential to the welfare and safety of our communities. We are also excited to announce that the groundbreaking ceremony for the San Vicente Central Park is slated for Wednesday, April 18, at 10am.”
The revitalization project proposes to enhance the landscaping of the area to include concrete picnic tables, concrete barbecue pits, lamp posts, park benches, and trash bin receptacles. Furthermore, it aims to set up playground equipment, provide a new asphalt parking lot, construct a new concrete round house, and a youth center building.
“The Office of Grants Management & State Clearinghouse continues to seek more grant opportunities to assist in the betterment of the CNMI as a whole. We have recently submitted project proposals to the Office of Insular Affairs’ Technical and Maintenance Assistance Programs and are currently working on proposals for the Office of Insular Affairs’ Energizing Insular Communities grant program,” Cabrera added.
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres noted that the recent submission of several key projects are intended to bring about increased benefits, resources, and amenities for the Commonwealth.
“Epi and his hardworking team at OGM put in a lot of effort into obtaining funding for key projects that the community has brought to our attention. This is not just CDBG, but also our projects through the Technical Assistance Program and the Maintenance Assistance Program under the Office of Insular Affairs. The efforts have paid off as we are now seeing several projects that are either now off the ground or in the works. I thank OGM, NMHC, and our community partners for the collaboration on really being a part of our efforts to better the standard of living in our villages on all three islands. We’re excited to see these all come to life soon,” Torres said. (PR)