McCain calls Garapan market project 'awful'
7 CNMI projects worth $1.35M in US House appropriation
By Haidee V. Eugenio
Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (D-MP) expressed disappointment that former Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain described as “awful” his proposed $200,000 earmark for the design and construction of the Garapan public market project.
“I worked hard to get $200,000 in seed money for Garapan Public Market into this year's appropriations and I will keep working to make sure Republicans in Washington don't kill the project,” said Sablan in his latest weekly e-newsletter.
McCain took to the U.S. Senate floor on Dec. 10 and attacked Sablan's $200,000 earmark for the Garapan public market project on Saipan.
Sablan said McCain promised that “we will be hearing a lot more about it [the project].”
“I hope not. The Garapan Public Market is a project that will give our farmers and fishermen and craftspeople a place to sell their goods. And it will give tourists to the Marianas a new attraction where they can enjoy themselves and find gifts to bring home,” Sablan said.
Sablan, at the same time, announced seven CNMI projects totaling $1.35 million that he was able to include in a Conference Report on Fiscal Year 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act on Dec. 11.
By a vote of 221-202, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the conference report on Thursday.
“Since there has never been a congressman representing our islands, this is the first time we have ever been able to get this kind of targeted funding,” Sablan said.
These projects and the funding approved include the $200,000 for the design and construction of the Garapan public market.
Also on the list are $250,000 for the Public School System's Refaluwasch and Chamorro language programs; $200,000 for the Northern Marianas Trade Institute for vocational and technical training; and $180,000 for the Micronesian Legal Services' Rota and Tinian outreach programs.
Completing the list are $200,000 for the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library's roof repairs; $220,000 for the Division of Fish and Wildlife's educational programs on marine sanctuaries; and $100,000 for the PSS purchase of library books and educational materials.
The U.S. Senate is expected to approve the conference report in the next few days and send it to President Obama for his signature.