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Ada inquires about $50M port grant

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SEN. Tom Ada has requested an assessment of the Port of Guam Enterprise Fund established by U.S. Congress in 2008 with the U.S. Maritime Administration as the administrator.

Ada’s inquiry is part of his ongoing efforts to track the progress of the port modernization program.

In 2010, a grant of $50 million was pumped into the port by the Department of Defense for port modernization in anticipation of the military realignment.

“To date it is unclear as to what funding is actually available for construction after the environmental assessments, project design, PMT/MARAD (Maritime Administration Project Management Team) and construction management costs are assessed to the PEF (Port Enterprise Fund),” said the chairman of the Committee on Maritime Transportation.

Ada said the lack of clarity was worrisome as the fund was the primary source of funding for the modernization projects.

In a memorandum of understanding, MARAD agreed to provide quarterly reports on expenditures and deposits of the fund, Ada pointed out.

During the March 5 information briefing, the committee requested the balance of the fund, but no port official could provide the information. Management had responded that uncertainties with the military realignment and the need for environmental assessments pushed back the start of many of the projects.

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