Funding For Hawaiʻi County Volcano Recovery Heads To Governor's Desk

Mar 29, 2019

Big Island Councilman Tim Richards and other officials announce agreement on volcano recovery funding for Hawaii County.
Credit Casey Harlow

Hawaiʻi County is on track to receive up to $60 million in state funds for recovery efforts from last year’s Kīlauea eruption.

The state Senate approved House Bill 1180 today. The measure will undergo legal review then move to Gov. David Igeʻs for signature.

The proposal allows the county to use the funds for recovery efforts and assistance stemming from last year's four-month-long volcanic event in Kīlaueaʻs East Rift Zone.

Lawmakers acknowledged the sum is not enough for the full, longterm recovery of the county, but the funds will help.

Hawaiʻi County Councilmember Tim Richards said some of the funds could go to infrastructure repairs.

“One of the things we’re looking at is the roads in the great lower Puna district, and that is forthcoming right now," he said.

"We also have to look at the economy. And this is where we’re working on, coming up with what the best way to handle this is. From the economy standpoint, tourism took a large hit. We have to rebuild. We have to look at the marketing.”

Some state lawmakers said the county can leverage the money to receive more funds from the federal government to help with the longterm recovery efforts.