Sen. Brian Schatz announced on Tuesday the award of $1.9 million in federal funding to the Hawaiian Shores Community Association in Puna.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture funding will help the homeowner's association improve and repair the community's water system, ensuring safer, clean water and providing adequate water flow for fire protection.
Sen. Schatz's office worked closely with the USDA to help expedite the Association's grant and loan applications.
"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. "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.
"Hawaiian Shores Community Association is thrilled to receive this loan and grant combination award from the USDA's Rural Development program. Primary components of our small private water system, such as the 85,000 gallon holding tank, are over 40 years old and failing," said Eileen O'Hara, President of the Hawaiian Shores Community Association. "The recent encounter with Hurricane/Storm Iselle exposed additional weaknesses of our private water system which is worn out and undersized to serve the needs of our growing community. 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."