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Millions in federal dollars coming

LIHU‘E — A federal spending bill will channel more than $500 million to the state of Hawai‘i, with millions of dollars designated for programs and projects on Kaua‘i.

The new congressional spending, known in political circles as earmarks, was announced on Tuesday, Dec. 20, by Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawai‘i. Schatz, who serves as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, said this year’s earmark total more than doubles last year’s figure.

“We are bringing home more than a half a billion dollars in new earmark funding,” said Schatz in a statement. “These earmarks will give local nonprofits and projects more resources to serve communities across Hawai‘i.”

Earmarks secured for funding on Kaua‘i are as follows:

• The County of Kaua‘i Housing Agency will receive $7.772 million. The money will help support the construction of affordable homes in the Lima Ola Community in ‘Ele‘ele;

• The County of Kaua‘i Housing Agency will also receive an additional $5 million. The funding will be used to add an additional 500,000 gallons of domestic water storage capacity and transmission to facilitate the development of affordable housing in ‘Ele‘ele, Hanapepe and Port Allen;

• The state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife and The Nature Conservancy on Maui and Kaua‘i will receive $1.5 million. The money will help support efforts to control avian malaria and protect endangered native forest birds;

• The County of Kaua‘i will receive $1.2 million. The funding will support efforts to restore a coastal wetland for flood mitigation, wildlife habitat, water quality and other ecosystem services for neighboring communities on the island;

• The County of Kaua‘i will also receive an additional $1.2 million. The funding will help assess the status and identify repair needs for a 4-mile stretch of sewage lines, ensuring the infrastructure can support homes that are transitioning away from cesspools;

• The Hawaii Foodbank on Kaua‘i and O‘ahu will receive $1.003 million. The money will help the nonprofit buy refrigeration equipment and vehicles for its Kaua‘i and O‘ahu warehouses, in turn increasing its capacity to feed people in need;

• Kumano I Ke Ala o Makaweli will receive $796,000. The funding will be used to support the expansion of K-12 educational programs and food production in West Kaua‘i;

• Malama Kaua‘i will receive $492,000. The money will be used to construct the Moloa‘a ‘Aina Center food hub, which will enable expanded local food distribution and farmer support services;

• YWCA Kaua‘i will receive $110,000. The money will be used to support the installation of solar and battery storage to improve energy resilience.

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Wyatt Haupt Jr., editor, can be reached at 808-245-0457 or whaupt@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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