U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz announced Tuesday an award of $1.9 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture federal funding to the Hawaiian Shores Community Association.
The awarded funds are earmarked to help improve and repair the community’s water system, ensuring safer, clean water and providing adequate water flow for fire protection.
“With Puna still recovering from Tropical Storm Iselle, we need to make sure communities and families continue to have access to safe, clean drinking water,” Schatz said in a statement. “I thank the USDA for working with my office to ensure that the Hawaiian Shores community has the resources it needs to improve its water system.”
The USDA Rural Development program funding includes a loan of $1,037,000 and a grant of $864,880. The project improvements proposed include replacing tanks, pumps and piping and upgrading valves and electrical equipment.
HSCA President Eileen O’Hara said in a statement the primary components of the small private water system “are over 40 years old and failing” and the community’s recent encounter with the storm “exposed additional weaknesses” in the system.
“HSCA wouldn’t be able to afford the needed repairs and upgrades without this award and we are especially grateful to Senator Brian Schatz for his assistance in ensuring this funding was approved in the current federal fiscal year,” she said.