Projects include resurfacing ballparks, stream gauge

LIHUE — Grants applications for a stream gauge, resurfacing ball courts and improving emergency shelters were approved by the Kauai County Council Wednesday.

Elton Ushio, administrator of Emergency Management, asked for the green light to apply for a $428,125 Hazard Mitigation Grant, via U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

The council unanimously approved his request, and if approved, the money will go toward a stage-only gauge at the Hanakapiai Stream and hardening of the Kalaheo Gymnasium and Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall for emergency shelter purposes.

A stage-only gauge measures the level of water at the stream, Ushio said.

“We were told that will be sufficient to provide early warning downstream flooding,” he said. “What we intend to do with this project is overtime develop and identify a threshold upstream that will result in flood conditions upstream.”

That way, the county can better predict what conditions can cause flooding, Ushio said.

When it comes to hardening the Kalaheo Gym and the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall, the goal is to make both facilities strong enough to withstand hurricane force winds, said Dough Haigh, chief of the building division.

Also on Wednesday, the council unanimously approved a request from the Department of Parks and Recreation to apply for a $250,000 National Park Service Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to resurface tennis and basketball courts at five county parks — Kalawai, Peter Rayno, Wailua Houselots, Puhi and Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex.

The county will then provide a $250,000 match, said Lenny Rapozo, director of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

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