Hilo, HI, Jun 17, 2013 -- Rural Development Hawaii State Director, Chris Kanazawa today announced that USDA has awarded a Pre Development Planning Grant to the Hawaiian Shores Community Association. The Planning Grant will help the homeowner's association pay for the preliminary work to develop an application for water system repair and upgrades. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today's announcement is one part of the Department's efforts to strengthen the rural economy.
Kanazawa said, "Every community deserves the access to safe, high quality drinking water and through Rural Development's Water and Environmental Programs, we can play a key role in achieving this. The Predevelopment Planning Grant will ensure that the Hawaiian Shores Community Association will have the financial and technical assistance to complete a quality application for their water system project."
The Hawaiian Shores Community Association (HSCA) is delighted to work with USDA Rural Development to upgrade its aging water system that was initially installed in the early 1970's. The goal is to ensure this growing community continues to receive high quality drinking water from its private well and that the pumping equipment used is as energy efficient as possible. Eileen O'Hara, board president, noted "We currently provide water to 450 households. With 1294 lots in the Hawaiian Shores Recreational Estates subdivision and build-out happening at a rapid pace, we need to ensure that our water system is upgraded to meet current and future demand."
To accomplish this rather daunting task, HSCA turned to the USDA for technical and financial assistance and will be working with local engineering firm, Engineering Partners, Inc, to complete a preliminary engineering and environmental report. "Maintaining a well and water delivery system of this size involves a lot of work and can be very costly, especially if system maintenance has been deferred over the years," offered HSCA's current maintenance foreman, Stephen Kishimoto. HSCA is truly grateful to have the USDA support on this project and hopes to continue to work with the agency to affect the improvements needed in a manner that will not create financial hardship for the members of the association.
For more information about USDA's Water and Environmental programs, contact Timothy W. O'Connell, Acting Community Programs Director at 808-933-8313 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $172 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $700 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.