HILO, Hawaii – Safety concerns and potential construction violations at the Hilo Walmart were brought to the attention of the Hawaii County Council last week.
The discussion took place September 7 during the meeting of the Committee on Public Works and Parks and Recreation, when Hilo councilman Aaron Chung shared recent complaints received by his office.
The complaints came from the Pacific Resource Partnership, which represents the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters and more than 240 contractors. According to Chris Delaney of PRP, Walmart is doing an unpermitted renovation. He also accused Walmart of hiring unlicensed subcontractors and committing OSHA violations.
Part of the problem seemed to be confusion over Hawaiian Homelands regulation.
“We had a tenant that was operating under the mistaken belief that they did not have to get a permit, because the original person that built the building – DHHL – had taken themselves out of county regulation,” said Brandon Gonzalez, deputy public works director.
Public Works said Walmart has submitted its plans for review in order to get the proper building permit. Walmart faces a penalty for its after-the-fact permit application.