Governor releases funds for cemetery

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has released more than $5 million in state funding for the expansion and improvement of the Maui Veterans Cemetery in Makawao, according to an announcement from the Governor’s Office.

Since last year, there’s been growing concern about the rapid loss of space in the 7-acre cemetery located along Baldwin Avenue. Last year, it was estimated that only one or two more years remained before the final resting place for island war veterans reaches capacity.

In June, the governor released $250,000 for an environmental assessment, appraisal, title search and subdivision application. In November, the Board of Land and Natural Resources authorized its department to help the Department of Accounting and General Services to procure another 10 acres to more than double the size of the current cemetery.

Eventually, the state will turn over the cemetery to Maui County for management and operation of the facility.

In other action announced Friday, Abercrombie also released $930,000 for improvements at the Kalaupapa settlement. Work will include the design and construction work to close landfills and to reroof a store and administration buildings.

And, $700,000 was released to install a photovoltaic system generating 40 kilowatts at the Lanai Community Hospital. The project is expected to supply about half of the facility’s daily electricity needs, with energy savings forecast to offset the cost of installation in seven years.

Some of the largest dollar amounts went to statewide projects:

* $14 million for public facilities and sites statewide, including the design and construction of various repair and alteration projects (such as roofing and other repairs) to existing state office buildings.

* $3.2 million to match $15 million in federal funds for water pollution control projects, including work on sewage systems, storm water drainage and other improvements.

* $2.7 million to match $13 million in federal funds for safe drinking water projects.

* $1 million for state parks energy and water efficiency projects.

* $1 million for disabled access work at Department of Land and Natural Resources facilities statewide.

Overall, the governor released nearly $46.4 million.