(BIVN) – A Hawai‘i State House and Senate conference committee approved a bill on Thursday that would give Hilo a needed economic boost, according to the senator who introduced it.
Senate Bill 3058 SD 2 HD 2 CD 1 (S.B. 3058), brought forward by State Senator Kai Kahele, establishes the “Hilo community economic district and authorizes the Board of Land and Natural Resources to extend or modify the terms of certain public leases, within the economic district, upon BLNR approval.”
“This bill is a homerun for Hilo,” said Senator Kahele in a message following the agreement. “It’s no secret that Banyan Drive and the Kanoelehua Industrial Area are in severe disrepair and in need of major infrastructure improvements. S.B. 3058 provides the certainty needed for the economic heart of Hilo to incentivize major infrastructure investments. This initiative is just the first step that will combine the strengths of the public sector, private enterprise, and the community to unlock the economic potential of East Hawaiʻi.”
The new description of the bill, following the conference committee agreement:
Defines the Hilo community economic district. Authorizes BLNR to extend or modify the terms of certain public land leases within the economic district upon approval by BLNR of a lessee’s development agreement to make substantial improvements to or construct new improvements on the land as long as the length of any extension granted does not extend the original lease term by more than 40 years. Establishes conditions for BLNR to approve any extension of the fixed rental period of term of certain public land leases in the economic district. Establishes causes of economic hardship for which BLNR may modify or eliminate any of the existing statutory restrictions on public land leases in the economic district, extend or modify the fixed rental period of these leases, or extend the term of these leases and amends the conditions for BLNR’s approval of any such modification, elimination, or extension. Establishes a separate request for interest process to public lands in the economic district. Requires qualified bidders to deposit an amount equal to one per cent of the value of the leasehold improvements. (CD1)
“I would like to thank my House counterpart, Representative Chris Todd, and the House and Senate Leadership for their support in passing this bill, ” Senator Kahele concluded.