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$100,000 devoted to removal of large container on Big Isle


HILO » The state has set aside $100,000 to remove a large metal container that washed ashore on a remote Hawaii island beach.

The 10- to 15-foot-tall yellow container doesn't have any markings, and officials don't know whether it's debris pulled out to sea by the tsunami that hit Japan last year.

The actual cost of removing the container remains unknown. But if it costs $100,000, the state would spend twice as much removing one object as the federal aid it received to remove tsunami debris.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has provided Hawaii, like other Pacific coastal states, with grants of $50,000 each to clean up such debris.

Oregon paid a contractor about $84,000 to remove one 66-foot concrete dock from Japan that washed up on a beach there earlier this year.

Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources doesn't have a fund set aside for removing tsunami debris, the department's director, William Aila Jr., told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

The state is setting aside the $100,000 from a special land development fund, Aila said. He's unsure whether the fund would have enough in it to cover debris removal if another similar piece was found.

Still, Aila said, the agency doesn't intend to let debris stay on the state's shores.

"We'll find a way to do it," he said, adding it could seek an emergency allocation if another large item washes up.

Aila said he plans to ask the Legislature for debris removal money when lawmakers start a new session in January.

Sen. Gil Kahele (D, Hilo-Naalehu) said finding funds for debris removal shouldn't be difficult in the next session.

"As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I would definitely support this," he said.

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mijoeca wrote:
What? 100K from the taxpayers? I guess that means that the State doesn't have a cutting torch. How sad...
on October 13,2012 | 05:33AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
Agreed. If ya can't find a State agency to do so, hire a local welder for $10K or less to cut it up and truck it away. Scrap metal sale would reduce the expense too. No? Ok, give me the $100K, and I'll go find a welder to do the job. Like you said, a waste of tax $$.
on October 13,2012 | 12:56PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Another complete waste of taxpayer dollars by our over paid civil servants. If this is indeed tsunami debris then the owner or the government of Japan should be paying for the clean up. Maybe their military could use it for target practice during the next rimpac?
on October 13,2012 | 09:48AM
videofun wrote:
What about having the military tow that large container out to sea, use it for target practice and ultimately provide a habitat for marine life? Seems like many parties, including us taxpayers, would benefit.
on October 13,2012 | 11:47AM
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