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Kenoi details $75M in projected stimulus funding

 

Mayor Billy Kenoi addresses Thursday's community workshop on the local impact of the federal stimulus package. (Photo courtesy of the Mayor's Office)

Mayor Billy Kenoi addresses Thursday's community workshop on the local impact of the federal stimulus package. (Photo courtesy of the Mayor's Office)

MEDIA RELEASE

 

Mayor Billy Kenoi opened a community workshop Thursday on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 by detailing more than $75 million in funding from the federal economic stimulus bill expected to arrive in Hawaii County in the months ahead. 

“This funding will create jobs and provide critical services, and also represents an important investment in the infrastructure of our community,” Kenoi said. “We are grateful for the hard work of U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye and the rest of our Congressional delegation for their assistance in delivering this funding through the federal stimulus package.” 

Kenoi said the tally of federal stimulus projects may grow because county agencies will seek new opportunities for federal stimulus funding through competitive grant writing in the months ahead as federal agencies publish their final rules for grants under the ARRA. 

The largest of the federal stimulus projects slated to receive funding under the ARRA is the Ane Keohokalole Highway in North Kona. The first phase of that project would provide a critical new transportation corridor from Palani Road to Kealakehe, and would throw open Hawaiian Home Lands and state lands for affordable housing development. 

Funding under ARRA is also expected for water and sewer system construction, police protection, fire equipment and training, federal and county parks projects, programs for prevention of homelessness, and job training for youth and adults.

Projected Impact: $75.52 million and counting 

Highways 

Ane Keohokalole Highway, also known as Mid-Level Road will receive $35 million in ARRA funding. When completed, Mid-Level Road will parallel Queen Kaahumanu 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 Lai 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. 

State Highways

The state is spending $11 million, a significant part of its share of ARRA funding, in Hawaii County on maintenance of bridges on Hawai’i Belt Road including the Kukuaiu, Kuwaikahi, Ninole and Maulua Bridges. 

Mass Transit 

Stimulus funding for mass transit in Hawaii County will be $977,000, which we plan to use to buy two 49-passenger buses and to pay for new bus shelters. 

Police 

COPS Hiring Recovery Program: Hawaii County police have applied for ARRA funding for 16 additional police officers for three years starting in 2010. Funding would total about $3.4 million to cover pay and fringe benefits for the extra officers. We are asking for community policing officers, and plan to put two in each of the eight police districts on the island.

Police and Prosecutors 

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

Job Training 

ARRA will boost Workforce Investment Grant funding by $1.3 million to train adults, dislocated workers and youth. The expanded programs will be 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.

Homeless Prevention and Job Training 

The non-profit Office of Social Ministry has been awarded $707,000 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 in some cases to get people into homes, and to provide employment training for the homeless or at-risk populations. 

Parks 

Waimea Trails and Greenways: ARRA will provide $600,000 to help pay construction costs for the first phase of a bike and pedestrian trail linking residential areas of Waimea to the town center. 

Federal Parks

ARRA will fund nearly $8 million in work in Hawaii 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.

Fire 

Stimulus funding will include a Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant of $125,000 to be used for fire equipment and training. The department is also seeking stimulus funding through the Assistance for Firefighters Grants (AFG) for additional equipment and to help finance construction of the Makalei Fire Station at Kalaoa in North Kona. 

Water Projects 

ARRA is expected to provide nearly $5 million to the Department of Water Supply for Drinking Water projects. The department plans to use those funds for construction of the Ahualoa Production Well and 1 million gallon reservoir to improve water service to the Honokaa area. 

Wastewater Funding 

The county expects $7.5 million in ARRA funding for sewers. Department of Environmental Management plans to spend $6.2 million on the federally mandated project to shut down the large capacity cesspools in Honokaa, extend sewer lines and expand the nearby wastewater treatment plant to accommodate the additional sewage flow.  

The remaining $1.35 million in ARRA funds for wastewater will help pay for construction of the Komohana Heights large capacity cesspool replacement project, which is also federally mandated. 

Community Development Block Grant 

ARRA will provide $647,364 in block grant funding. The county has solicited proposals from the community for ways to use the money, and final selection is pending. Proposals include energy retrofits for elderly housing, and renovations of facilities used by non-profit organizations.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants 

The county will receive $737,800 under this new program, and tentatively plans to spend to money on projects such as installing energy efficient street lights, energy audits and conservation programs for county facilities. 

Meals for the Elderly 

More than $80,000 is being provided under ARRA for additional meals for the elderly. 

Military spending

Sen. Inouye’s office recently announced $2.58 million in stimulus funds will be used to install photovoltaic power systems at Bradshaw Airfield and other facilities at Pohakuloa Training Area.

 

Nearly 80 people participated in Thursday's community workshop on the local impact of the federal stimulus package, presented by the county's Department of Research and Economic Development. (Photo courtesy of the Mayor's Office)

Nearly 80 people participated in Thursday's community workshop on the local impact of the federal stimulus package, presented by the county's Department of Research and Economic Development. (Photo courtesy of the Mayor's Office)

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