County Gets $115M in Stimulus Funds… Projected Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on the County of Hawai’i

From the Mayors Office:

$115 MILLION AND COUNTING

Highways

Ane Keohokalole Highway, also known as Mid-Level Road will receive up to $35 million in ARRA funding. When completed, Mid-Level Road will parallel Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway from Henry Street to an area mauka of the Kona airport.

The first phase would extend from Palani Road at Henry Street to Kealakehe Parkway. This road is critical because it will open up new portions of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Villages of La’i ‘Opua that will provide more than 700 units for Hawaiian Homesteaders. It will also open lands slated for a state affordable housing project at Keahuolu that will eventually provide about 2,200 homes.

Health Information Exchange

The University of Hawai`i at Hilo College of Pharmacy was awarded $16 million in stimulus funding through the Beacon Community Program for a health records pilot project that will develop a regional electronic records system with tele-monitoring tools to improve access to medical specialists for patients with chronic diseases.

Mass Transit

Stimulus funding for mass transit in Hawai`i County was $977,000, which was used to buy two 49-passenger buses and to pay for new bus shelters.

State Highways in Hawai`i County

The state is spending $4 million in Hawai`i County on maintenance of bridges on Hawai’i Belt Road including the Kukuaiu, Kuwaikahi, Ninole and Maulua Bridges.

Police and Prosecutors

Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant funding under ARRA of $366,489 will be divided between police and prosecutors. Prosecutors will use about half of this money to upgrade their computer server and network. Police will use the balance to fund two evidence specialist positions.

Job Training

ARRA boosted Workforce Investment Grant funding in 2009 and 2010 to the County by $1.3 million to train adults, dislocated workers and youth. The expanded programs were used to develop a youth summer internship program to serve 268 economically disadvantaged in-school and out-of-school youth; to provide job training to an additional 100 adult participants; and to train another 210 dislocated workers. All funding has been encumbered; most of the funding for youth training has been spent; and portions of the funding allocated for adults and dislocated workers has been spent.

An additional $1.1 million ARRA Work Force Development Grant was received in 2010 through the state Department of Human Services and directed to state Department of Labor in County of Hawai`i to employ more than 400 youths ages 14 to 23 this summer at government agencies and non-profit organizations.

Federal Parks in Hawai’i County

ARRA will fund nearly $8 million in work in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, including a new $6.6 million Emergency Operations Center. Another $81,000 will be spent on projects at Kaloko-Honokohau and Puuhonua o Honaunau.

Also benefiting from the stimulus package is the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, which will receive $590,000 for construction of a new storage and maintenance building.

Fire

The department has been awarded more than $4 million in stimulus funding for additional equipment and to help finance construction of the Makalei Fire Station at Kalaoa in North Kona. A federal environmental assessment is being prepared, and bidding for the construction phase is planned for later this summer.

Habitat Restoration

Kohala Watershed Partnership received $2.69 million through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to fence and plant native vegetation on the leeward coast of Kohala Mountain to prevent erosion and improve the condition of the Pelekane Bay coral reef habitat.

Homeless Prevention and Job Training

The non-profit Office of Social Ministry has been awarded $707,850 in ARRA funding over three years for “rapid re-housing” and prevention of homelessness. This will allow OSM to pay housing subsidies, pay housing deposits and assist with utilities in some cases to assist the homeless or populations at risk for becoming homeless.

Water Projects

ARRA is expected to provide more than $4.74 million to the Department of Water Supply for Drinking Water projects, and the money has been encumbered for  construction of the Ahualoa Production Well and one million gallon reservoir to improve water service to the Honoka`a area. Construction is 50 percent complete, and the scheduled completion date is August 30, 2010.

Wastewater Funding

The county expects $7.5 million in ARRA funding for sewers. Department of Environmental Management plans to spend $1.02 million on the federally mandated projects to shut down large capacity cesspools in the Queen Liliu`okalani Village Subdivision, $5.33 million for closure of large capacity cesspools in Honoka`a, and $1.09 million in ARRA funds for construction of the Komohana Heights large capacity cesspool replacement project.

Community Development Block Grant

ARRA will provide $647,364 in block grant funding to be used in part for solar hot water retrofits of senior housing units in Waimea to save energy and cut utility costs. The balance of that money will be used to finance site preparation work for the first Neighbor Island hospice in-patient facility, a 12-bed facility being planned by Hospice of Hilo. All funds have been encumbered, and 60 percent have been spent.

Energy Efficiency in Federal Buildings

The Hilo federal building will receive another $5.3 million ARRA funding for upgrades for a seismic retrofit, improved access for persons with disabilities and historic preservation work.  

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants

County of Hawai`i will receive $737,800 under this new program, and plans to spend money on projects such as installing energy efficient street lights, residential energy audits, a public education program on energy efficiency, and conservation programs for county facilities.

Health Care

Hawai`i Island health care clinics will also receive funding under ARRA, including $253,278 for the Bay Clinic with its facilities in Kea`au, Pahoa, Ka`u and Hilo; another $174,263 for the Hamakua Health Center; and $162,502 for the West Hawai`i Community Health Center in Kailua-Kona. The Native Hawaiian health care program Hui Malama Ola Na Oiwi in Hilo will also receive $110,430 under the stimulus package.

West Hawai`i Community Health Center will also receive $471,620 in construction funding to renovate the lower level of the center’s Kuakini Highway clinic, and the Hamakua Health Center will receive an additional $270,480 to renovate its Hamakua clinic.

Health Care Information Technology

In addition to the operating funding listed above, Bay Clinic will receive an $805,000 two-year ARRA grant to support health information technology improvements including hardware, a data center and enhancements to electronic practice management.

Meals for the Elderly

More than $80,419 is being provided under ARRA for additional meals for the elderly.

Emergency Food Assistance

More than $54,000 in stimulus funding is being provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to The Food Basket, Office of Social Ministry, Salvation Army and various churches for hot meals and food pantry items.

Pu`u Wa`awa`a Firebreak

ARRA funding includes $138,000 for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to improve and expand firebreaks at this 43,000-acre forest reserve, which is now overgrown with invasive fountain grass.

Military Spending

About $2.58 million in stimulus funds will be used to install photovoltaic power systems at Bradshaw Airfield and other facilities at Pohakuloa Training Area.

Volcano Monitoring Equipment

Another $3.3 million in ARRA funding has been allotted to upgrade existing U.S. Geological Survey equipment at Hawai`i Volcanoes Observatory. Most of this money has been spent, and the observatory is creating five temporary positions to assist with the equipment upgrades.

Airport Security Improvements

A total of $2.31 million in ARRA funding has been allocated to allow the federal Transportation Security Administration to make security improvements at Hilo airport and Lihue airport on Kaua`i, including purchase of upgraded explosive detection systems and advanced technology x-ray units. The exact amount allocated to Hilo airport will not be made public.

Violence against women

ARRA funding has been provided to County prosecutors through the federal Office on Violence Against Women via a 2009 STOP Violence Against Women grant of $81,680 for domestic violence prosecution.  That sum will provide funding for salaries and fringes for one deputy prosecuting attorney for the period from July 1, 2010 through March 31, 2011.

Victims of Crime Act

Additional ARRA funding of $99,567 is being provided through the fiscal year 2009 Victims of Crime Act Victim Assistance Program-Recovery.  This funding will maintain core services provided to victims of violent crimes especially in the areas of child abuse, sexual assault, homicide and domestic violence.  Two direct service providers receive these funds for programs, and one victim counselor position in the County prosecutor’s office is partially funded. The grant period is from January 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011.

Public Housing

A total of $3.6 million in stimulus funding has been contracted for improvements to the state’s Kaimalino and Kealakehe public housing projects in North Kona and the Hale Hauoli senior housing project in Hamakua. The North Kona work will include re-roofing, floor repairs, replacement of ramps and stairways, sidewalk repairs and parking lot improvements. The work at Hale Hauoli includes renovations, re-roofing and painting.

Law Enforcement Assistance

A total of $99,000 in ARRA funding is being provided through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant State Solicitation process for a court house booking project.  These funds will provide post-conviction penal summons booking at the Hilo and Kona Court Houses, providing new equipment to enable state Sheriffs to “book” or process individuals at the court house instead of requiring convicted offenders to report to the police station for fingerprinting, mug-shot and entry into the criminal justice system database.

Homeowner energy retrofits

The Hawai’i County Economic Opportunity Council was a sub-recipient (primary recipient was Maui Economic Opportunity Council) of $837,000 in ARRA funding to weatherize homes in the County of Hawai’i. Under this program, HCEOC hired contractors to remove electric water heaters from the homes of 97 low-income residents and install solar water heaters in those homes. Weatherization also included installation of energy efficient lighting, low-flow shower heads and “smart” power strips. As part of this project, the contractors hired low-income residents to train them on the installation of water heaters.

Drop-out Prevention and LAMP Program

Hawai’i County Economic Opportunity Council also received $1 million more in stimulus funding that was used to continue drop-out prevention programs across the County of Hawai’i ($275,000); and to continue the Language Arts Multi-Cultural Program (LAMP) outreach program to assist the Micronesian population by stressing the importance of education; to assist in the search for work; and to connect families with social services ($350,000).

Other HCEOC programs funded with this stimulus money are the HCEOC ride-to-work program providing transportation services to low-income residents to help them reach their jobs ($260,000); tuition assistance for 200 low-income high school students to pay for summer school to allow the students to obtain their diplomas or certificates ($61,000); and financial management, budgeting and other assistance for Micronesian residents ($37,000)

Agricultural Product Development Center

The Arc of Hilo has obtained $99,200 in federal stimulus funding to design and construct a commercial kitchen that will function as a business incubator for businesses that need a place to cook or process value-added agricultural products for local sale or export. Participants will pay a membership fee to use the kitchen.

Small business loans

To date, www.recovery.gov has listed $2.637 million in Small Business Administration loans funded with stimulus monies that were made to small businesses in the County of Hawai`i.

Senior housing

A total of $3.3 million in stimulus funding is being provided through a HUD Tax Credit Assistance Program grant to the Hawai`i Housing Finance and Development Corporation  for the Ainakea Senior Residence, a 30-unit senior rental housing complex in North Kohala.

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