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State funds slated for West Hawaii projects


West Hawaii is slated to receive funds for new capital improvement projects based on the state budget which passed out of conference committee in the early morning hours of Saturday, April 28.

The budget bill now goes to the full House and Senate for final vote, and, if passed, will be sent to the governor to be signed into law.

Some of the major projects include $7.5 million for West Hawaii Community College at Palamanui, and Honokohau Harbor for critical upgrades on parking, roads, water systems, electrical systems and other miscellaneous areas in need of repair.

“I am extremely pleased that the 2012 supplemental budget includes additional capital improvement for West Hawaii facilities,” said Rep. Denny Coffman, (House District 6 (North Kona, Keauhou, Kailua-Kona, Honokohau). “In particular, the new community college facilities being constructed a mile north of the airport next to the Palamanui development project is important because it expands the educational opportunities for West Hawaii residents.”

“The community has waited a long time for the funding to build a community college campus in West Hawaii,” said Rep. Cindy Evans, House District 7 (North Kona, South Kohala). “Now we have to encourage the University and the Governor to make this dream a reality by building it”.

The West Hawaii projects receiving funding include:

* Kona International Airport at Keahole — $10,400,000
* West Hawaii Community College at Palamanui — $7,500,000
* Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority — $6,300,000
* Honokohau Small Boat Harbor — $650,000
* Kawaihae Harbor — $11,500,000
* Kona Community Hospital — $6,050,000
* Waikoloa Public Library — $800,000
* Kamuela Vacuum Cooling Plant — $1,000,000
* Waimea Irrigation System — $40,000
* Kohala Mountain Road — $3,600,000
* Kohala Hospital — $2,200,000
* Laiopua 2020 — $400,000

In addition, the supplemental budget includes $250 million for repair and maintenance for public facilities statewide, including public schools.

“We anticipate that many of the schools in West Hawaii will benefit from the increased repair and maintenance schedule, and this should also create more construction jobs for Hawaii Island,” Evans said.

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