Sen. Josh Green issued the following statement, dated May 1, 2014:
I am pleased to report that this year the State Legislature has approved over $60 million for West Hawaii to improve our region’s transportation, education, healthcare, and justice systems.
These important new investments in our community’s roads, schools, and hospitals will continue to create jobs, stimulate our economy, and build our community for years to come.
I am particularly pleased to report that the Legislature has designated $35 million for the Kona Judiciary Complex, a facility which represents a major state investment in the development of West Hawaii and will house 230 full-time employees when it is completed.
In 2011, the Legislature appropriated $12 million for land acquisition and design of the complex, and this year the Legislature approved $35 million with the intention of approving an additional $55 million to complete construction in the coming years.
This year the Legislature has also approved an additional $2.4 million to complete the construction of Phase I of the new West Hawaii Community College Campus at Palamanui, bringing the state investment in the new campus to $14.9 million in addition to private investment of close to $20 million.
This new campus will give our young people the option of pursuing higher education in West Hawaii, and will serve as an educational resource for our entire community.
In addition, the Legislature has renewed the Hospital Sustainability Act, which will this year bring than $62 million in federal money to help strengthen and support hospitals in Hawai’i, including millions of dollars for Kona Community Hospital and North Hawaii Community Hospital on the Big Island.
Projects approved for West Hawaii during the 2014 legislative session include:
* Kona Judiciary Complex
$35 million for design and construction of the new Kona Judiciary Complex, a planned 142,00 square-foot facility on a 10-acre parcel across from the West Hawaii Civic Center in Kona
* Kona Community Hospital
$5 million for renovations and upgrades to Kona Community Hospital, including $2 million for elevator replacement, $2 million for electrical upgrades, and $1 million for asbestos abatement
* Kona International Airport
$3.4 million for airport improvements including $1.9 million for design for improvements to the south ramp taxiway and ramp and other related improvements, and $1.5 million for design and construction of an international arrivals building
* Ka‘u Irrigation System
$2.5 million for design and construction of improvements to the irrigation system including ground and site improvements, equipment and appurtenances
$2.5 million for plans, design, and construction to complete the exploration phase for potable water, to include well siting studies, field investigations, environmental assessment, permitting, plans and specifications for the exploratory well
West Hawaii Community College at Palamanui
* $2.4 million for design and construction of the completion of Phase I of the new West Hawaii Community College Campus at Palamanui
* Saddle Road Extension
$2 million for design of a new roadway and/or realignment and extending the Saddle Road from the Hilo terminus to the Queen Kaahumanu Highway
* West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery
$1.6 million for plans, design, and construction of a non-potable water well including pumps, piping and appurtenances, water tank, and power generation system for West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery
* Public High School Improvements
$1.1 million for improvements to Public High Schools including $550,000 for Ka‘u High School for construction to provide improvements for the current locker room and gym restoration, $300,000 for Kealakehe High School for design of upgrades to an all-weather and synthetic track, and $250,000 for Konawaena High School for design and equipment for the installation of a new lighting system for the gymnasium, ground and site improvements, equipment, and appurtenances
* West Hawaii Community Health Center
$1 million for construction of the West Hawaii Community Health Center in Kona
* Lai Opua 2020
$950,000 for construction and improvements for the parking lot and road
* Hawaii Ocean View Estates Water Resources
$725,000 for plans and design for the expansion of water resources
* Kona Historical Society
$200,000 to provide project funding to develop educational programs, increase staffing and volunteer recruitment and training, improve cultural and historic sites, and maintain grounds and facilities
* Hawaii Island Humane Society
$200,000 for plans, design, construction and equipment for the Hawaii Island Animal Community Center, Phase I
* Project Vision Hawaii
$79,214 to expand Big Island health screening services for the poor and disabled
As your State Senator, I will continue to work hard every day to improve our transportation, education, healthcare, and justice systems and make our roads, schools, and hospitals in West Hawaii the best that they can be.
Let’s keep working together to achieve even greater results in the coming years, and to make West Hawai’i and our entire state an even better place to live.
District 3, West Hawaii