Mayor hoping to end buy of land swallowed by lava

KAILUA-KONA (AP) — Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim is hoping the county will be able to back out of an ongoing land purchase that was started before the land was made worthless by lava inundation.

The county was looking to purchase a $2.7 million Vacationland parcel owned by a politically connected family to gain ocean access, Kim said.

The land would have provided Vacationland development with a buffer from tide pools, West Hawaii Today reported.

The Hawaii County Council authorized the purchase in 2013, before Kim was mayor.

The county has already signed a contract making the purchase contingent on a state grant, a county attorney said.

The land was consumed by 300 to 400 yards of lava from the Kilauea volcano, which began erupting in May.

“The whole purpose of purchasing, it is gone,” Kim said Thursday. “I’m not interested in paying good money for that.”