Anouncement ends year long budget driven debacle
Video by David Corrigan
On Friday, Hawaii County administration officials confirmed what many on the Big Island of Hawaii already suspected: the Hamakua land sale was not going to happen.
The lands are no longer up for sale. It is still unclear what the county may choose to do with the property, but the sealed bid opening scheduled for May 24th has been cancelled.
In this video, Property Manager Ken Van Bergen tells Big Island Video News that the sale is pau. He says that there is no longer a need to balance the budget using proceeds from the sale.
Ven Bergen also said that the Koholalele parcel, which is going through an Environmental Assessment process, may be sold, but he added that he does not see that happening.
The announcement comes after the county received no offers at two of the three public bid openings. The third sealed bid opening was cancelled, and the plan was to have all the parcels available for one, last “catch-all” auction on May 24th. On Friday, a simple message on the county website promoting the land sale simply read “The Sealed Bid date for May 24, 2010 has been cancelled”, with the number to call the property manager for more information.
The proposed sale of the Hamakua lands was the center of a controversy during this past budget cycle. Residents of the Hamakua Coast, who wanted to see the land be made available for local use, or otherwise feared what entity might make a move to buy the property, protested the land sale. The plan also raised the ire of the Hawaiian Kingdom, attracting threats of litigation from activists and concerned Hawaiians who said the land ownership was clouded.
A plan to use 1,739 acres in Kapulena for a community ag/ranching project is moving forward.