(BIVN) – A priority list of Kīlauea Volcano eruption recovery projects was provided to the Hawaiʻi County Council today, as a bill to appropriate an early round of Federal Emergency Management Agency funds passed first reading.
Bill 10 appropriate $32,995,500 to the Capital Budget for “2018 Lava Flow Projects”, of which $24,746,625 is provided by FEMA and $8,248,875 by the County.
“This is just the beginning of federal funding that is going to be coming in to help the recovery,” said Puna councilmember Ashley Kierkiewicz during the meeting held in Hilo.
“This really is just the beginning,” added Hawaiʻi County Finance Director Deanna Sako, who noted that FEMA has already contributed some funds for the emergency work that was done. “I think we just got our first check today from FEMA, I’m really excited.” Sako said the County may also be getting Federal Highway Administration funds for other recovery-related projects.
“So we’ve turned on the faucet,” Kierkiewicz said. “Water is flowing. And this is just the beginning.”
Kierkiewicz also read aloud a priority list for projects that was provided to her by Sako:
- Leilani Avenue
- Pohoʻiki Road
- Lighthouse Road
- Lauone Street
- Honuaula Street
- Hinalo Street
- Highway 137
- Helicopter Pad
- Pāhoa Landing Strip
- Emergency Access over Alaʻili, Cinder, and Government Beach Roads
“Is there any flexibility in which projects will be completed?” Kierkiewicz asked the Finance Director. “Some of these streets… like Hinalo and Lauone… they’ve been covered by lava but they’re smaller, dead-end streets.”
“Some of these projects are probably going to be done as alternate projects,” Sako said. “So, as we determine, we may not do any work at these areas, or we may realign it, or shift it. There’s a lot of people in that recovery committee that are working on that, trying to figure out what the best area is. Also, keeping in line with all the environmental impacts and everything else going on in that area.”