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Council Approves Road Grant

Post Date:09/09/2019 8:14 AM

Residents of areas isolated by the 2018 Kīlauea eruption, known as kipuka, will be able to restore road access with the help of a $28,000 Hawai‘i County grant. 

The County Council approved a resolution authorizing use of the funds on Sept. 4. The money comes from $170,355 in private donations, the bulk of which was provided by Puna Geothermal Venture. 

Money will be used to provide temporary road access to residents and farmers in the Malama Ki kipuka through Leilani Estates. A local nonprofit, Malama ‘O Puna, will manage the grant. 

Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz worked with county staff to identify use of the funds. She told her fellow council members this is the “Bill 12” money at work, referring to legislation council members passed identifying uses of the private donations.

The bill set aside $50,000 for road restoration in particular. 

Of that amount, $12,000 was provided to access the Highway 132 kipuka. Another $10,000 is being allocated to provide access to another kipuka off that highway. 

Grants above $25,000 must receive council approval. 

A "pioneer road" through Puna Geothermal Venture's site provides access to isolated properties near Highway 132. 

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