(BIVN) – Among the various COVID-19 related measures discussed during a closed Hawaiʻi County Council meeting on Wednesday was a familiar item on Mauna Kea.
Resolution 568-20 authorizes the office of Mayor Harry Kim to enter into a grant agreement with the State of Hawaiʻi “to reimburse the County for overtime costs, supplies, equipment, and other expenses incurred by the Police Department and the Office of the Mayor through December 31, 2019, in response to the protest activities related to the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea.”
In December 2019, the council voted down a resolution that would have accepted up to $10 million from the state for Maunakea related costs.
The latest resolution reads:
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR TO ENTER INTO A GRANT AGREEMENT WITH THE STATE OF HAWAII PURSUANT TO HRS 46-7, FOR A GRANT TO THE COUNTY OF HAWAII
WHEREAS, the Hawaii County Police Department and the Hawaiʻi County Office of the Mayor wishes to enter into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the State of Hawaii; and
WHEREAS, the agreement is to receive funds from the State of Hawaii to reimburse the County for overtime costs, supplies, equipment and other expenses incurred by the Hawaii County Police Department and the Office of the Mayor up to and including December 31, 2019, in response to the protest activities related to the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea; and
WHEREAS, Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 46-7, requires that County departments obtain the consent of the Council to enter into agreements with the federal or state governments respecting action to be taken pursuant to any of the powers granted by law to furnish, expend, and receive any funds or other assistance in connection with projects being or to be undertaken pursuant to those powers; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE COUNTY OF HAWAII, in accordance with section 46-7, Hawaii Revised Statutes, that the Mayor of the County of Hawaii is authorized to execute, on behalf of the County, a grant agreement and related documents with the State of Hawaii for reimbursement of overtime costs, supplies, equipment and other expenses as described above.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the County Clerk of the County of Hawaii shall transmit copies of this resolution to the Office of the Mayor, the Finance Department, and the Hawaii Police Department.
The TMT project announced a pause in the project in late-December 2019. State and county law enforcement stood down, and TMT opponents moved off the Mauna Kea Access Road.
Since then, the kiaʻi opposed to the project announced they are also dispersing from the area. Puʻuhonua o Puʻuhuluhulu wrote on Wednesday: “Under the advisement of the Royal Order of Kamehameha ʻEkahi and with the guidance of the Mauna Medic Healers Hui and the camp organizers, a collective decision was made to demobilize camp, close our ʻaha and return to our ʻohana and communities. The decision was based on our determination that TMT construction is not an imminent threat at this time and that the COVID-19 pandemic has become a larger threat to our lāhui and general community.”