March 10, 2014

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press

March 5, 2014 Pohnpei, FSM -Last week the Pohnpei Legislature passed an amended bill to provide $901,193 of funding for the 8th Micronesian Games that Pohnpei will host beginning in July.

Governor Ehsa has signed the bill into law. For the PICS Track and Field renovation the law provides $607,527. The Micronesian Games "overall" allotment is for $114,473. It provides $179,193 for support for Pohnpei Athletes' participation in the games.

After public hearings the joint committee report on the bill said that it recommended the allocation of funds to finance the total project cost for the rehabilitation of the Pohnpei Islands Central School Track and field which were broken down as follows:

The report says that the construction of the track's asphalt base and concrete swale and drainage will be carried out by Pohnpei Transportation Authority. The track surfacing and construction of the long and triple jump area will be carried out by TEAM SPORTS, a privately owned Australian company. TEAM SPORTS will order the synthetic surfacing material from a company in Europe now that funding has been allotted.

The $6500 earmarked for construction drawings will be paid to Sports Surface Consultants, LTD.

For the Pohnpei team, the Legislature allotted a total of $179,193 as follows:

During a hearing on February 10, Robert Spegal, the CEO of the games, testified that a total amount of $497,715 was needed in order to make up the difference between the total submitted budget of $1.8 million and the received and pledged contributions from various donors. A few days later, organizers submitted an updated budget that showed that donors had provided almost $150,000 in additional donations for the games.

"As more pledged contributions are received the less financial assistance is needed from the State government," the committee report said. "It was testified to your joint committee that the external fundraising efforts are in high gear at this point in time, and a considerable amount is yet to be received from pledge donors," the joint committee report said. "It is the sense of your Joint Committee that the priority funding needed by the Organizing Committee could be achieved in time as inflow of financial assistance from contributors and supporters are picking up momentum."

The remainder of the bill dealt with technical details in order to ensure that donor funding requirements are met and that State funds are not commingled with donor funds.