(BIVN) – State law enforcement will be patrolling the former Uncle Billy’s Hilo Bay Hotel, around the clock, in an attempt to keep squatters from entering the dilapidated building.
On September 15th, Governor Josh Green signed a second Emergency Proclamation regarding the abandoned Banyan Drive structure. The emergency relief period now extends until November 13, 2023.
A fence has been constructed around the perimeter of the property, however the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources reports the fence has already had several breaches that require repairs.
Since its closure in June 2017, there have been numerous instances of trespassing at the property, and even a fire in March 2022.
A hazardous materials survey consultant also found what is suspected to be asbestos in the closed building, which will have to be remediated before the structure can be demolished.
“We’ve asked people repeatedly not to enter or occupy the abandoned building for their own safety,” DLNR Chair Dawn Chang. “That’s even more important now that suspected asbestos has been discovered. We will have DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) officers begin an around-the-clock presence and patrols of the Uncle Billy’s area to keep people out. For everyone’s safety, we urge people to stay out of the building and to not expose themselves or first responders to the unsafe conditions there.”
The State says the asbestos remediation is not expected to significantly delay previous timelines for demolition, which will be planned in close collaboration with the County of Hawaiʻi.