HILO, Hawaii – The County of Hawaii is on its way to hiring an arborist.
During Wednesday’s final budget discussion, Puna councilmember Greggor Ilagan proposed taking money from the engineering division’s unsafe flora expense account, and putting it towards hiring a tree expert and providing the county with related equipment.
Ilagan hopes the arborist can help fight the spread of Rapid Ohia Death on the island. But he also noted the arborist wil be able to assist the county carry out the removal of unsafe flora, like the invasive albizia.
Public Works Director Warren Lee was present for the discussion, and stated his support for Ilagan’s idea.
Other councilmembers envisioned the arborist assisting with other tree-related issues in their own districts, like the recent cutting of beloved trees at Kamehameha Park in Kapa’au. Some councilmembers questioned the need for the new employee.
Ilagan’s amendment was voted into the budget before it was passed.