Officials say protest costs are over $3M

HILO (AP) — Hawaii County has spent more than $3 million on overtime and other costs as a result of protests against the Thirty Meter Telescope.

News organizations reported Wednesday that Hawaii County Finance Director Deanna Sako says the cost to the county government has been nearly $3.27 million since demonstrations began in July.

Demonstrators want to block work on the $1.4 billion telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea, which they fear will further harm the area many Native Hawaiians consider sacred.

Hawaii island Police Chief Paul Ferreira says his department spent more than $217,000 on overtime from July 1 to 15 and $2.77 million from July 16 to 31.

State Sen. Lorraine Inouye published a letter Tuesday calling on Democratic Gov. David Ige to resolve the impasse.