Major Funding Appropriated for Puna & Ka‘ū CIPs

April 26, 2019, 11:47 AM HST
* Updated April 26, 6:06 PM
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Sen. Russell Ruderman. Senate photo.

Sen. Russell Ruderman reported in a Friday, April 26,  2019, Facebook post, that major funding had been earmarked for the Puna and Ka‘ū Districts on the Big Island.

“I’m very happy to report some major funding for Puna and Ka‘ū!,” he said. “Note, these are in addition to $60 million for lava disaster relief.”

CIP (Capitol Improvement Projects) funds appropriated for the districts this year:

Volcano School of Arts: $15 million for building a new campus

Puna Boat Ramp: $500,000 for planning and design of a new boat ramp in Puna to replace Pohoiki boat ramp, which is now land-locked due to lava. (Note: a study has been completed showing Pohoiki is not repairable, and a new location will be determined.)


Pāhoa Wastewater Treatment Plant: $600,000 for planning and design. The lack of a sewage system prevents business development and protects groundwater. Pāhoa is the largest town in Hawai‘i lacking a sewage treatment system.


“This is something we have pursued for seven years!” Sen. Ruderman said.

Big Island Substance Abuse Council in Kea‘au: $100,000 for operating expenses

“This wonderful organization treats many Puna residents with substance abuse issues,” Sen. Ruderman said.


Ka‘ū Hospital: $500,000 for equipment and renovations


  • Ka‘ū High and Elementary School – $200,000 for Cafeteria, equipment and site improvements
  • Kea‘au Elementary School – $270,000 for new fire alarm system and various site improvements
  • Kea‘au High School – $175,000 for fire alarm and site improvements
  • Kea‘au Middle School – $75,000 for fire alarm and site improvements
  • Keonopoko Elementary School – $500,000 for fire alarm, equipment and site improvements

Not in-district but of islandwide importance, Sen. Ruderman strongly supports the following:

Mauna Kea Fence: $500,000 for fencing for ungulate control. This will protect native species and habitat. We are a big supporter of tree planting efforts on Mauna Kea, including the Sandalwood Project.

Ulu Coop Facility/Honalo Yard: $1.1 million for improvements. This Kona facility supports local food island-wide as host of the Ulu Cooperative, and we are a big supporter of this visionary project led by Dani Shapiro and Ulu Cooperative. Hawaii Ulu Producers Coop was also awarded $150k in additional funding.

Habitat for Humanity Hawai‘i Island: $100k.

After School All-Stars: $150k to continue various programs in all of our Puna and Ka‘ū high schools.


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