Hawaii’s Big Island Gets $10M for Lava Recovery

December 3, 2018

Hawaii is giving a $10 million grant to the Big Island to help jump-start recovery efforts following the Kilauea volcano eruption.

The Hawaii County Council adopted a resolution in November to accept the funding, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.

The funds must be used for the protection of “health, safety and welfare of area residents, and for relocation planning for residents and agricultural enterprises adversely impacted by the volcanic eruption,” according to a filing with the measure.

The grant money, approved by Hawaii Gov. David Ige, will be directed for economic impact and relocation studies as well as housing vouchers, county finance director Deanna Sako told council members.

The Big Island previously received $12 million in state funding for disaster response following the eruption in May. Of that amount, about $4 million is left, Sako said.

County officials had tried to get the state Legislature to enter a special session so recovery efforts could be addressed. When the next legislative session begins in January, the county will seek about $150 million from the state to fund recovery efforts, said Roy Takemoto, an executive assistant to Big Island Mayor Harry Kim.

The combined $22 million collected from the state so far will help address the island’s “immediate needs” through June 2019, according a draft aid request.

A “work in progress budget” identifies about $480 million in federal funding for long-term recovery that the island also plans to request, Takemoto said.

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