(BIVN) – The Hawaiʻi County Council Committee on Public Works and Mass Transit got an important update on Tuesday.
Councilmember Sue Lee Loy requested an update from the Mass Transit Agency regarding federal transportation grants and the agency’s compliance with reporting requirements.
It was revealed last month during the Council Finance Committee’s budget review that the Mass Transit Agency did not submit required paperwork for three of the last six years, jeopardizing millions in federal grant funds for the County, as well as the entire state.
Since that time, Mass Transit Administrator Brenda Carreira, who inherited the difficult situation when she took over as the head of the troubled department, has been working diligently to rectify the matter.
On Tuesday, Carreira was joined in Hilo by Ed Sniffen of the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation Highways Division, reassuring the Council that the agency is on the right track.
“There is no money that’s at risk at this time,” Sniffen said. “There’s a letter that we sent out saying you’re in compliance now with your M.O.A.’s, so start drawing the funds down. There’s also no money at risk to be taken back by the federal government at this time.”
“This has been completely refreshing,” said Councilwoman Lee Loy after hearing the update. “I think we walked out of our budget meeting back in April really all scratching our heads, but this is really refreshing.”
Lee Loy was also pleased to see “the partnership, and the collaboration, and the togetherness,” on display between the County and State government officials.