County to get $30M more for lava recovery

  • Harry Kim

Hawaii County will receive an additional $30 million in federal funds to assist with ongoing 2018 lava recovery efforts.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Wednesday announced that it would send the county $30.6 million in federal disaster relief funding, divided between two broad programs.

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This money is in addition to the $83.84 million already allocated to the county through the HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program.

Of the $30.6 million, $23.72 million will also be through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program, bringing the total funds from that program to $107.56 million.

While the CBDG-DR program typically disburses funds toward a broad range of projects to rebuild areas affected by disasters, the additional $23 million will require a Federal Register notice from the HUD to determine details and requirements about how it can be spent.

Following that notice, the county will amend its current CDBG-DR Action Plan to include any additional programs.

Meanwhile, the remaining $6.86 million will be allocated through the HUD’s hazard mitigation program. These funds are intended to increase an area’s resilience to disasters and lessen or eliminate the effects of future disasters.

“We’re grateful for the work of our Senate delegation in helping secure these funds,” said Mayor Harry Kim in a statement.

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“We look forward to applying those funds to help Puna residents get back on their feet and our island community become stronger and more resilient to natural hazards,” Kim said. “As part of the recovery process, the county will take a close look at using these funds to assist communities affected by both the 2018 eruption and the 1983-2018 Pu‘u ‘O‘o-Kupaianaha eruption, which continue to be exposed to volcanic hazards and future disasters.”

Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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