County hits the jackpot

LIHUE — Road work ahead.

And bridge work. And bench work. And a whole lot more, for that matter.

More than $80 million in capitol improvement project funding was secured for the island on the final day of the legislative session Wednesday at the state capitol, Kauai lawmakers said.

Around $6 million was provided for highway improvements to update aging infrastructure and to relieve traffic constriction. Another $14 million will go to bridge, highways and roadway improvements, and $2.4 million for slope stabilization at Lumahai Hillside.

Dist. 15 State Rep. James Tokioka, said he was pleased that the work with Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and the Kauai County Council resulted in securing $600,000 for the construction of covered, lighted and Americans with Disabilites Act compliant bus stops.

Kauai did well considering the nearly $200 million dollar reduction from the governor’s original budget based on the Council on Revenue’s original forecast, Tokioka said.

“We’ve tried to assist the counties with additional funding, via the transit accommodations tax, but the budget shortfall did not allow us to provide any additional assistance,” Tokioka said.

Roughly $14 million is slated for improvements and renovation of various bridges, highways and roadway projects, with other supplementary road construction improvements and renovation that is not reflected, he added.

“We are extremely grateful to our legislative delegation for bringing back these resources for the people of Kauai and Niihau,” Carvalho said in press release Wednesday. “These projects will benefit so many people from all walks of life.”

Carvalho said the county is especially grateful for the bus shelter funding and enhancements to the Hanapepe Veterans Cemetery that was a part of the pot.

“We know that it’s very competitive and every county is looking for funding,” Carvalho said. “Our delegation has been very effective and we are appreciative of their hard work.”

The Kauai Museum will also be receiving $776,000 for improvements to their facility and the installation of a photovoltaic energy system. The work will bring the building up to the ADA compliance code, Tokioka said.

“It has been an honor for the past eight years to work with community members and stakeholders on funding capital improvement projects on Kauai,” Tokioka said. “It has also been an honor to work with Sen. Kouchi and our Kauai team, and I am truly humbled for having this experience.”

In addition to the executive budget CIP funding, appropriations for Grants-In-Aid were also awarded.

Hawaiian Island Land Trust, an organization that works to protect state lands for current and future generations, received $270,000 to conduct a long-range development plan for the former Coco Palms site.

Kauai Island Director Jennifer Luck, said HILT is appreciative of the hard work and support of Sen. Ronald Kouchi, and the County of Kauai, in working to ensure the GIA funding for Coco Palms was passed.

“We look forward to protecting the rich history of this site and working with current land owners to explore viable means of protection,” Luck said.

Hale Opio Kauai received $435,000 for structural renovation and improvements to better provide youth-directed and family centered programs. The nonprofit organization received another $105,406 to continue the operation of Kauai Teen Court for first- and second-time youth offenders.

The Kauai YWCA received $400,000 for the expansion and renovation of a new women’s center.

The Kokee Museum “Hui O’Laka” received $50,000 for renovation to the civilian conservation corps camp and Kokee State Park.

The Waipa Foundation, a Native Hawaiian learning and community center, received $200,000 for construction of the Waipa Kitchen, Poi Mill and Hale Imu.

Malama Kauai received $120,000 for the development of Kilauea Agricultural Park.

Other funding:

• $200,000 for the Kekaha water system

• $1 million for improvements to the Aahoaka Reservoirs

• $1.6 million for the Career Pathway facility at Kapaa High School

• $250,000 for an automotive paint booth at Kauai High School

• $1.52 million for the renovation of Building B at Kilauea Elementary School

• $3 million to DHHL for work on the Anahola dams and reservoirs

• $2.45 million for improvements at Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor

• $2.8 million for improvements to Camp 10 access bridges at Kokee State Park and Na Pali Kona Forest Reserve

• $2.5 million to upgrade the Hanalei River breach

• $1.3 million for fire protection sprinklers at Kilauea School

• $2 million for rockfall mitigation at Menehune Road

• $27.6 million for rehab or replacement of Hanapepe River Bridge

• $1 million for resurfacing Mana Drag Racing Strip

• $7.95 million for a West Kauai DHHL field operations facility

• $300,000 to Aha Hui E Kala for improvements at the Lawai International Center

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