Senator and Mrs. Daniel K. Inouye spent the day on Hawai‘i Island, starting on the Kohala coast, crossing the island to the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and ending the day at the Hawai‘i County Building in Hilo.
Sen. Inouye started his day at the Hilton Waikoloa Village at the 30th annual conference of the National Industry Liaison Group, a group committed to equality and fairness in the workplace. Later in the day, Sen. Inouye attended a ceremony at the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park to mark the launch of the new U.S. quarter depicting an eruption at K?lauea, the fourth coin in the U.S. Mint’s “America the Beautiful” program.
Sen. Inouye concluded his day on Hawai‘i Island meeting with Mayor Billy Kenoi and his cabinet at the mayor’s office in Hilo. Sen. Inouye was present at Mayor Kenoi’s first cabinet meeting as a newly elected mayor four years ago, held at Café 100 – the Senator’s favorite Hilo eatery, named for the 100th Battalion of which Sen. Inouye was a member.
Cabinet members, the directors of Hawai‘i County’s departments, shared with the Senator the major impact that federal funded projects have had on the island.
Hawai‘i County has been the recipient of lots of federal funds, getting $115 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds alone. The $30 million Ane Keohok?lole Highway project in Kona was the largest single ARRA project in Hawai‘i. Other recent federal funds awarded to Hawai‘i Island projects include $6.2 million for the new Makalei Fire Station in Kona (which will soon open), over $11 million to improve and expand the island’s Hele-On bus system to reach more people on the 4,028 square mile island, and over $24 million in grants for nearly 50 community development projects.
The cabinet members also took the opportunity to let Sen. Inouye know the County will continue to seek Federal funding.
Mayor Billy Kenoi worked as an intern in Sen. Inouye’s Washington, D.C. office in the summer of 1992 as Mayor Kenoi was working toward his degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.