Lawmakers announce funding for projects

  • Hulihee Palace is set to receive $800,000 in capital improvement project funds from the state. (West Hawaii Today/file photo )

  • $2.25 million for sewage and electrical system improvements at the Honokohau small boat harbor is included in the state’s capital improvement project funds. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today file photo)

More than $2.2 million in capital improvement projects funds have been allocated by state lawmakers for sewage and electrical improvements at Honokohau Small Boat Harbor in Kailua-Kona.

The funding is among more than $130 million approved by the state Legislature for various projects on the Big Island. With a very tight state budget, lawmakers said only the most critical road, school, airport and other infrastructure projects were selected for funding.

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“We appreciate all of the hard work that has gone into securing these funds. This CIP budget will help build safe, healthy, and sustainable communities for the people of Hawaii Island. This year’s unprecedented session has been an exercise in figuring out what our priorities are. Given the challenges that our state is facing, we are very proud of what we have been able to accomplish in terms of getting these funds to the places they are needed most. From critical infrastructure to educational facilities, these funds are an investment in our future,” the Big Island’s House delegation said in a statement.

Other funding allocated for projects includes $60,000 that will go toward Palamanui forest conservation for the environmental protection of endangered lowland dry forest species; $2.5 million to design and construct a bridge connecting Building A and Building B at Kahakai Elementary School; $1.2 million for facility and infrastructure renovations, including upgrades to the fire alarm system, at Kealakehe Intermediate School; and $800,000 for general maintenance and upkeep costs at Hulihe‘e Palace.

Another $1.7 million will go toward expansion and improvement of the West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery and $18 million for various facility renovations at the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole.

In North and South Kohala, $2 million has been allocated for land acquisition and structural improvements at the Waimea Deep Water Monitor Well and another $1.8 million for the completion of the Kanu o ka ‘Aina Public Charter School multipurpose building. Some $1.6 million will cover improvements to the dock and break wall at the Kawaihae North small boat harbor and another $10 million will go toward planning, land acquisition, and construction at Kawaihae Harbor to make the harbor safer, more efficient, and more operational.

In South Kona, $555,000 was allocated for drainage improvements and other ground and site repairs at Ho‘okena Elementary School.

The district breakdown of the CIP budget for projects across Hawaii Island is as follows:

• District 1 – North Hilo, Hamakua Coast (Rep. Mark Nakashima)

— $21.5 million for Hilo Medical Center to, among other things, purchase two replacement chillers, construct a new intensive care unit, and make improvements to the center’s ventilation system;

— $774,000 for general maintenance, building refurbishment, and equipment repairs at E. B. De Silva Elementary School;

— $580,000 for the installation of a photovoltaic electrical system at Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School;

— $4.5 million for the installation of a rubberized track, bleachers, a synthetic turf field, and other ground improvements at Hilo High School;

— $3.25 million for planning, construction and equipment for improvements at the Lower Hamakua Ditch watershed;

— $1.97 million for protection of 13,000 acres of vital water resources and endangered species in Makahanaloa; and

— $900,000 for the removal of the Hoku Ke‘a Telescope Observatory at the summit of Maunakea.

• District 2 – Hilo, Keaukaha (Rep. Chris Todd)

— $253,000 for an electrical upgrade to Building B to Keaukaha Elementary School, technological renovations to facilitate distance learning;

— $5 million for the design and construction of a new girls’ athletic locker room at Waiakea High School, including showers, lockers, offices, restrooms and equipment;

— $1.4 million for terminal improvements in the hold rooms, ticket lobby, and restrooms at Hilo International Airport;

— $10 million for planning, land acquisition, and construction at Port of Hilo designed to make the harbor safer and more efficient; and

— $10 million for the renewal, improvement, and modernization of facilities and infrastructure at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

• District 3 – South Hilo, Keaau, Mountain View, Volcano, Pahala (Rep. Richard Onishi)

— $250,000 for the installation of air conditioning units and ventilation improvements to Building A at Keaau Middle School;

— $10 million for the planning, design, and construction of a new public library serve Keaau and Mountain View;

— $18 million to replace the current one-lane 4 Mile Creek bridge at the bottom of Haihai Street, and make other ground and site improvements in the area; and

— $1.23 million for ground and site improvements at Mountain View Elementary School.

• District 4 – Puna (Rep. Greggor Ilagan)

— $1.3 million for a new acceleration lane and right-turn-on-red installation at the intersection of Shower Drive and Highway.

• District 5 – South Kona, Naalehu (Rep. Jeanne Kapela)

— $555,000 for drainage improvements and other ground and site repairs at Ho‘okena Elementary School.

• District 6 – Kailua-Kona (Rep. Nicole Lowen)

— $60,000 to the Palamanui Forest Conservation for the environmental protection of endangered lowland dry forest species;

— $2.5 million to design and construct a bridge connecting Building A and Building B at Kahakai Elementary School;

— $1.2 million for facility and infrastructure renovations, including upgrades to the fire alarm system, at Kealakehe Intermediate School;

— $800,000 for general maintenance and upkeep costs at Hulihee Palace State Museum;

— $2.25 million for sewage and electrical system improvements at the Honokohau small boat harbor;

— $1.7 million for expansion and improvements at West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery; and

— $18 million for facility renovations at the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole.

• District 7 – North Kona, Kohala (Rep. David Tarnas)

— $2 million for land acquisition and structural improvements at the Waimea Deep Water Monitor Well;

— $1.8 million for the completion of the Kanu o ka ‘Aina Public Charter School multipurpose building;

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— $1.6 million for improvements to the dock and break wall at the Kawaihae North small boat harbor; and

— $10 million for planning, land acquisition, and construction at Kawaihae Harbor designed to make the harbor safer and more efficient.

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