NORTH KOHALA, Hawaii – Over 50 residents of North Kohala crowded the remote videoconference site on Wednesday to blast the county decision – allegedly made without consultation – to remove several prized trees from Kamehameha Park in Kapa’au.
It was by far the largest group that showed up at any of the remote videconference sites across the Big Island when the Hawaii County Council met in Hilo to go over the budget for the coming fiscal year.
The tree removal was first brought to the council’s attention a few weeks ago, during a series of special meetings to discuss the budget, and the community outcry has since intensified. Some residents say they will even block any further attempts to cut trees in the park.
The Kohala residents take issue not only with the removal of the trees, but also the method of trimming and cutting, and the nature of the contract to do the work, which they claim was not properly noticed in the community to solicit bids.
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