Governor: González Colón’s remarks on Vieques funds show ‘lack of knowledge’
By The Star Staff
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia on Wednesday addressed criticism of his administration’s handling of federal funds in Vieques, in response to comments made by Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón.
“That obviously shows a lack of knowledge in making those statements, because apparently she hasn’t realized that the federal funds that were allocated here add up to $43.5 million,” the governor said at a press conference in the offshore island municipality to mark the groundbreaking on a new health center. “And that the cost of this work, as it is designed and we have described it in this activity, is $85.5 million only in terms of federal funds, because it was impossible to build this hospital with the amount that was assigned to us, the $43.5 million that was originally allocated.”
The governor stressed that the current project, a health center with all the necessary facilities, exceeds the originally allocated amount of $43.5 million, making this amount insufficient for the realization of the project. He added that the work done by a team from various agencies, including FEMA, has been crucial in making the project a reality.
Pierluisi criticized the comments he said were made lightly on social media, saying they have little value. His response came after the statements of the resident commissioner, who urged “speed” in the use of federal funds and pointed out that Puerto Rico is on the wrong track in this regard.