Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (Northern Mariana Islands)
The approved Marianas plan calls for $110 million to be spent to repair damaged homes and build new residences and rental housing. Another $97 million is to be used for ports, roads, utilities, and other infrastructure on Rota, Tinian, and Saipan. And $21 million will go to economic development activities. The Marianas Visitors Authority is expected to participate with an intensive marketing campaign to revive tourism. Lastly, $4 million is set aside for planning activities for future housing, energy use and conservation, and utilities. The public had the opportunity for input on the plan before it was submitted and there will be further opportunity, as more detailed spending decisions are made.
There remain additional steps in the grant process. The Commonwealth government will have to have a plan for financial controls governing this huge amount of money. And HUD will have to certify those controls are satisfactory. After that, HUD will draw up a grant agreement for the Commonwealth to sign and the funds can begin to flow. All $244 million is expected to be spent by 2026. So, we are going to see many years of intense construction activity, with plenty of job opportunities and opportunities for local contractors, large and small.