Big Island Legislators Secure Over $200 Million in Capital Improvement Project Funding

Big Island legislators secured over $200 million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding for various projects across the island in HB500 CD1, the state budget bill for the next fiscal biennium.

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The proposed budget includes funding for various highway improvements, monies for Big Island schools, and continued financial support to complete the Kona Judiciary Complex.  The measure is scheduled next week for final reading in both the House and Senate.

Hilo

“Our Hawaii Island Legislative delegation has worked very hard to secure funding for many of the much needed projects throughout our island,” said Rep. Richard Onishi (Hilo, Keaau, Kurtistown, Volcano).  “Although we didn’t get everything we asked for and that is needed for our communities, our residents can be assured that we will continue to work hard during the interim to secure funding for those projects.”

“We have been successful in securing funds for Capital Improvement Projects for Hilo although we were faced with fiscal restraints,” added Sen. Gilbert Kahele (Hilo).

“For the last several years, I have been working with the tech community to increase the availability of jobs for Hawaii Island residents,” said Rep. Mark Nakashima (Hamakua, North Hilo, South Hilo).  “The $8.5 million available for the purchase of a Workforce Development Facility to support tech activities demonstrates the state’s commitment to growing this important economic sector.”

“House District 2 will see funding for schools, infrastructure improvements, and major construction for our airport, harbor, and roads,” added Rep. Clift Tsuji (Keaukaha, parts of Hilo, Panaewa, Waiakea).

“I am a strong supporter of alternative learning for our young men and women, and so I am grateful that an additional $1.7 million is being invested for the Youth Challenge Academy in Keaukaha. The Hilo Airport and Harbor continue to receive funding for necessary improvements.

“Other smaller projects are just as important, like Waiakea High School’s batting cage and pipeline replacement along Nohea Street and Santos Lane.  Regardless of the amount, project dollars will improve our quality of life and provide continued economic activity.”

Kohala, Waimea

“Two of my priorities are farming and agriculture and I am pleased that three projects in Senate District 4 have received funding,” said Sen. Lorraine Inouye (Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona).  “After being invited to visit the Kohala Ditch to witness the damage in December, improvements and repairs to the ditch became my top priority for the future of agriculture. With the collaboration of many constituents and the State Department of Agriculture, we submitted a CIP request and were approved for $1.5 million.

“The Kamuela Vacuum Cooling Plant, is another project and my office staff and I have met with them to clarify their needs” she added.  “This operation is vital to the farmers in the greater Waimea community. A CIP for $1 million to help repair their equipment has also been awarded. And finally, for Waipio Valley, and specifically Ha Ola o Waipio Valley, a GIA in the amount of $150,000 has been approved for flood control and stream bank stabilization work.”

“I’m pleased the budget contains funding for North Kohala and South Kohala and makes progress on locally grown produce and much needed improvements for our public schools,” said Rep. Cindy Evans (North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala).

Puna, Ka’u

“For Puna & Ka’u districts, I’m happy to announce that our district schools will receive $2.3 million for laptops and the school infrastructure needed to implement the ‘One on one’ computer learning program, starting with Pahoa and Mountain View public schools,” said Sen. Russell Ruderman (Puna, Ka’u).

“This will expand the program that has been so successful in Keaau Elementary & Intermediate schools. Our Puna public school students, many of whom are extremely challenged economically, will have the tools to compete in our modern computer-based workplace.”

“Lower Puna is the fastest growing district in the State and I appreciate that the current budget recognizes our road and traffic problems by allocating $15 million for improvements to Highway 130,” added Rep. Joy San Buenaventura (Puna).

Kona

“After many years fighting for projects like the Kona Courthouse, I was so pleased to see our team’s collaboration pay off for the Big Island,” added Sen. Josh Green (Kona, Ka‘u).

“The Kona Courthouse was a top priority for me and I’m very thankful that we now have full funding and the project will move forward,” said Rep. Nicole Lowen (Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa, Honokohau).  “The funds in the budget for the airport are also really important for Kona’s future—the federal inspections stations will cement Kona as a destination for international arrivals to the state, and the planned regional ARFF training facility will serve as a source of revenue to keep our airports systems sustainable.

“We were gratified the two projects in District 5 received grant-in-aid money,” said Rep. Richard Creagan (Na’alehu, Ocean View, Capt. Cook, Kealakekua, Kailua-Kona).  “The community kitchen project at Kona Pacific Charter School will receive $1.2 million.  This project will help provide healthy food and value added products to the Kona community.

“The Community Enrichment and Historical Center in Precinct 3 will receive $800,000 which should help complete this very important and long-awaited project.”

Notable CIP funding highlights for Hawaii County include:

  • $55 million in continued funding for the design and construction of a Judiciary Complex in Kona
  • $4.99 million for photovoltaic projects for East Hawaii HHSC region (I believe this was bundled up in last year’s CIP for HHSC)
  • $1 million for the design and construction of a Kamuela post-harvest facility and vacuum cooling plant
  • $1.5 million for improvements to the Kohala ditch irrigation system
  • $30.212 million for the construction of a new combined support maintenance shop complex for Hawaii Army National Guard at the Keaukaha military reservation
  • $1.675 million for Youth Challenge Academy renovations and improvements at Keaukaha military reservation
  • $300,000 for parking improvements at Kealakehe Elementary School
  • $1 million for the plans, design, construction and equipment for the transition from Keaau Elementary School to Keonepoko Elementary School
  • $230,000 for the construction of drainage improvements and a raised covered walkway at Mountain View Elementary School
  • $2.3 million for laptop computers and the installation of necessary infrastructure for laptop use in Senate District 2 schools, especially at Pahoa High and Intermediate School and Mountain View Public Schools
  • $450,000 for a new baseball batting cage at Waiakea High School
  • $1.58 million for the design of a new classroom building at Waikoloa Elementary and Middle School
  • $300,000 for parking improvements at Kealakehe Elementary School
  • $2 million for the design of Building A phase 1 renovations at Hilo Intermediate School
  • $8.5 million for the land acquisition, design, construction and equipment for a multi-purpose workforce development processing facility
  • $330,000 for improvements to the research campus in the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park
  • $1 million for the design and construction for Pu’u Wa’awa’a structure improvements and dam compliance
  • $400,000 for the plans and design for improvements at the North Kawaihae small boat harbor
  • $600,000 for the land acquisition and design for a community center in Waiakea Uka
  • $550,000 for the replacement of water lines and service laterals along Nohea Street and Santos Lane
  • $3.5 million for airfield improvements at Hilo International Airport
  • $3.89 million for the demolition of existing structures at the west ramp and construction of site improvements at Hilo International Airport
  • $61 million for the design and construction of a new airport rescue firefighters regional training facility at the Kona International Airport at Keahole
  • $2.5 million for the plans and design of a federal inspection station at Kona International Airport at Keahole
  • $50,000 for a feasibility study of constructing a small commercial airport in south Puna
  • $1.425 million for physical modifications to improve navigational safety and operational efficiencies at Hilo Harbor
  • $660,000 for land acquisition to extend the Daniel K. Inouye Highway from the Hilo terminus to the Queen Kaahumanu Highway
  • $15 million for repair and maintenance of feeder roads and alternate routes for Highway 130
  • $2.45 million for Keaau-Pahoa Road improvements to widen the two lane highway to four lanes or implement alternate alignments
  • $3.6 million for Kohala Mountain Road drainage improvements by mile post 10.60
  • $8 million for the rehabilitation of Ninole Bridge along Mamalahoa Highway (route 11)
  • $1.5 million for the construction of portable trailers at Hawaii Community College
  • $800,000 to the Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council #1 for the construction of Milolii community enrichment and historical center (Grant-in-Aid)
  • $150,000 to the Panaewa Community Alliance for the design of the Kamoleao Laulima Community Resources Center (Grant-in-Aid)
  • $285,000 to the Friends of the Volcano School of Arts & Science for the design and construction of a certified commercial kitchen (Grant-in-Aid)
  • $1.2 million to the Friends of Kona Pacific Charter School for the design, construction and equipment for community food kitchen for Friends of Kona Pacific Public Charter School (Grant-in-Aid)
  • $315,000 to the Kailapa Community Association for the design and construction of the Kailapa community resource center (Grant-in-Aid)

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