HONOLULU, Hawaii – On Feb. 14, a joint State House Committee on Tourism and Water & Land advanced a bill that would establish the Waiakea Peninsula Redevelopment District, Planning Committee, and Revolving Fund.
House Bill 1310, introduced by numerous state representatives including all seven reps from Hawaii Island, passed the two house committees and now heads to the House committee on Finance.
During the hearing in Honolulu, testifiers who do business in the downtrodden, state-managed Hilo area voiced their support for the measure.
“The current framework for management of the Waiakea peninsula has been sub-par to market expectations which is having a harmful effect on the economy of East Hawaii,” wrote the Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association, or KIAA, in support of the bill. “The passing of HB 1310 will help to push policy in the right direction as local expertise has an opportunity to be a part of a redevelopment district that will allow public lands to be managed property which in turn will help the sites on the Waiakea peninsula to be revitalized and relevant in today’s market.”
At the same time, Senate Bill 1292 – which would create the Hilo Community Economic District – has passed two senate committees and now goes to Ways and Means.