County backs funding for Puna road projects, park
The Hawaii County Council’s Finance Committee gave a nod Tuesday to funding for Puna road projects and a community park for one of the district’s large subdivisions.
In three 8-0 votes, the committee gave its support to adding the road and park projects to the county’s capital budget.
Each would require a vote at the full council level to get added to the budget, a step needed to qualify for funding.
The park would be located in Hawaiian Paradise Park, possibly at the intersection of 26th Street and Kaloli Drive, said Puna makai Councilman Greggor Ilagan.
His bill puts a price tag of $300,000 on the project. That figure doesn’t include construction.
Another bill would seek to provide $400,000 for general road projects in Puna, possibly including a makai alternate route.
The committee also gave its support to providing $86,000 for a proposed shoulder on Ainaloa Boulevard between Highway 130 and Vanda Drive.
Ilagan told Stephens Media Hawaii that the HPP community park could be built on a 20-acre parcel, but it would likely be about 5 acres.
Previous attempts to establish a county park in the subdivision have met with resistance but Ilagan said he has the support of the neighborhood association.
Additionally, private or state funding could be leveraged to make it happen, he said.
Both Ilagan and Puna mauka Councilman Zendo Kern said the large subdivision is in need of a park of its own.
“There’s approximately 12,000 people in Hawaiian Paradise Park,” Ilagan said.
“And the closest county park facility is actually 9 miles to Keaau or 9 miles to Pahoa.”
“There’s a need,” Kern said. “We just got to find the funding for it and that will eventually happen.”
Email Tom Callis at firstname.lastname@example.org.