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Molokai Gets $9M in CIP Funds

With the state budget for fiscal year 2014-15 green-lighted at $12.1 billion, Molokai has been allocated more than $9 million in capital improvement funds. That’s part of about $226 million set aside for the seventh senate district of Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kaho`olawe, reported Sen. J. Kalani English.

“Molokai is getting more than its fair share of the state budget,” said English, chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs. “While working in partnership with Rep. Mele Carroll we were able to secure many of the Capital Improvement Project funds that Molokai truly deserves.  These appropriations show that the Legislature recognizes the importance of Molokai.”

Projects range from education and athletics to agriculture and transportation infrastructure.

The Molokai Homestead Farmers Alliance has been earmarked $1.75 million to provide improvements and renovations throughout Lanikeha Center and its certified kitchen. That will include a new roof, repair to electrical system, windows, and floors, new paint, equipment fixtures, generators and the installation of renewable energy resources to offset the high cost of electricity, according to Sharon Lum Ho, English’s committee clerk.

The Molokai Athletic Complex project will receive $400,000 for design and construction of a gym, football field and tennis courts. Maui Community College, Molokai Education Center has been allocated $2.25 million for design, construction and equipment for expansion, renovation, repair andmaintenance.

Kamehameha Highway, Makakupaia Stream Bridge on Kamehameha V Highway is earmarked for rehabilitation and/or replacement, which has received $599,000, and design is expected to begin next month. Guardrail and shoulders on Molokai state highways are also undergoing improvements.

More than $500,000 has been budgeted for improvements in the Kalaupapa settlement, which will be used for design and construction to completely close the municipal and solid waste landfills.

The Molokai Irrigation System has received $2,200,000 in appropriations for plans, design and construction of concrete flumes in rocky areas to efficiently transport water, said Lum Ho, via email.

Another line item for this year’s state budget is $500,000 for the Molokai Community Health Center’s phase II of construction, announced earlier this year.

“My colleagues in the Senate and I worked diligently with our counterparts in the House to create a financially responsible budget,” said English. “This year, we were able to balance the interest of the community with the availability of funds.”

Maui received more than $212 million in capital improvement funds, while Lanai was earmarked $1.75 million for construction of a new community health center.

He said statewide, the 2014-15 budget emphasizes commitment to public school education, including the Department of Education and the University of Hawaii. He said $15 million was allocated for the weighted student formula, or funds given to schools based on enrollment and other factors. School athletics received $2 million, and $1.925 million is ear-marked for Strive-HI performance system, which was designed to measure and better understand school performance and progress, and to help tailor rewards, supports and interventions for school improvement. Among other education allocations, $3 million was also budgeted for early learning through the prekindergarten program.

“The biggest winners this session are our keiki. We invested money in the weighted student formula, athletics, the Strive-HI program and UH collective bargaining agreements, among others,” said English.

 

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