(BIVN) – Mayor Harry Kim went before a joint meeting of the State Senate Ways & Means and House Finance Committees on Thursday to present the needs of his eruption-ravaged County as the 2019 state legislative session gets underway.
Although Kim had other requests involving taxation and housing, the eruption recovery requests are the big ticket item for Hawaiʻi County.
“I know there’s been a lot of discussion of ‘how much are you asking for’, because we did not submit, initially – as [Finance Chair] Ms. Luke has accurately pointed out – a detailed plan,” said the mayor. “Because I simply tell you, we didn’t have a detailed plan. But we made a mistake – as I hope we conveyed to Ms. Luke – that was our mistake. What we put in with the whole budget, including the money that we expected to get from FEMA reimbursement. And so that money that was publicized was within the $800 million dollars. The monies been asked for now is direct County costs, including state share in costs, is in the $155 million dollar range. We realize that’s a lot of money. Realize that we have to be accountable for that money, and we will be open to any questions down the line in regards to a detail as far as what those monies will be used for.”