Council to discuss grant applications

LIHUE — The Kauai County Council is expected to discuss several requests from the county to apply for grants for services at its meeting Wednesday beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Historic County Building.

One of the requests, from Justin Kollar, prosecuting attorney, is to apply for a Edward J. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant in the amount of $156,285 to continue the Sex Assault Prosecuting Unit.

The unit includes one full-time deputy prosecuting attorney and one full-time legal clerk, who will each dedicate their time to sexual assault cases. This is the second year applying for the SAPU grant, Kollar said.

“Sexual assault occurs and the County of Kauai would like to increase its efforts in having swift, efficient reporting, exercise vertical prosecution, and ensure that services are available to victims who have been assaulted,” he wrote in a memo.

Having a specific unit will shorten the length of time it takes to bring the case to court, he added.

The jobs will be posted on the county’s website, and hiring is expected to take place one month after the job opening.

A request comes from the Office of Economic Development to apply for a $30,000 grant from the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to expand summer agricultural internships for high school students, according to a memo from OED Director George Costa.

Those funds will be used to coordinate with the state Department of Education Natural Resources Pathway and Future Farmers of America programs at Kauai, Kapaa and Waimea high schools.

In 2015, the DLIR Workforce Development Council and the state Legislature put together a $10,000 grant to start an Agriculture Summer Internship Program for the Future Farmers of America on Kauai, Costa said.

Students were paid $7.25 an hour.

Of the three high schools, Costa said Kauai High has an FFA program. Last summer, the county recruited at Waimea and Kapaa high schools and were able to get 12 students from Kauai High and one from Kapaa High.

Those internships will be used to educate students about farms, ranches and other agriculture-related businesses.

This year, there are two students from Waimea High, six from Kauai High and 29 from Kapaa High participating.

“This year, the state Legislature increased their goal of having more students participate, and raised the funding to $30,000. The increase will help as the minimum wage rose again to $9.25 an hour,” Costa said.

On Wednesday, the council will discuss a request from Lenny Rapozo, director of the county Department of Parks and Recreation, to apply for a National Park Service Land and Water Conservation Fund grant for $250,000 to resurface basketball and tennis courts at five county parks: Kalawai, Peter Rayno, Wailua Houselots, Puhi and the Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex.

The estimated total cost is $500,000.

The county will provide $250,000 in Capital Improvement Project funds as a match for the grant, according to a memo from Rapozo.

The Kauai Emergency Management Agency is also seeking approval to go after a $428,125 Hazard Mitigation Grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to install a gauge on Hanakapiai Stream, according to a memo from Elton Ushio, KEMA administrator.

Some money will be used for hardening of the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center gymnasium and Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall for evacuation shelter purposes.

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