|Road repairs in Ocean View are made by a community-owned road corporation,|
taking material from a quarry in Ocean View.
SPECIAL STATE LEGISLATION that would allow public funding from fuel taxes to be used for 750 miles of private roads in such subdivisions as Ocean View is making its way through committees at the state Legislature. The idea is that people living in these communities pay taxes at the fuel pump as well as live in subdivisions that were approved without proper infrastructure. They should be allowed to apply for grants from the fuel tax to help maintain their roads, said County Council member Brittany Smart.
The legislation would allow Hawai`i County to be a special district for the use of fuel tax funds. The effort is being championed in the council by County Council Chair Dominic Yagong and in the Legislature by Sen. Malama Solomon.
Ka`u council member Smart said road corporations like the one in Ocean View could apply for grants to build a culvert, fix an intersection, or fix another problem. There would be a committee to review grant proposals from communities with private roads.
A NEW SHELTER GYM proposed for Pahala is getting some traction in the state administration. Rep. Bob Herkes said yesterday that Gov. Neil Abercrombie may include nearly $20 million for the project in a state bond float. The county is working on a tight deadline to come up with a design-build proposal that would get the project done in less than two years. The gym and emergency shelter would be owned by the county, and access would be provided to schools and the community. It would be located adjacent to or within the Pahala school campus. Council member Brittany Smart met with the governor on the opening day of the Legislature to ask him for funding. She gives credit to both Principal Sharon Beck and former council member Guy Enriques for leading the effort to build the shelter gym.
RUSSELL KOKUBUN was unanimously confirmed by the state Senate yesterday as the new chair of the state Department of Agriculture. He has been serving as temporary chief of Agriculture following his appointment by Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Kokubun, who lives in Volcano, was re-elected state senator last November but stepped down to take his new job. Sen. Gil Kahele was appointed to take his place.
THE KA`U FARM BUREAU sent a letter of support for Kokubun, saying that he has “demonstrated an innovative and proactive approach to issues facing agriculture in our community and has proven to be an effective leader and problem solver.” From drought to vog to irrigation and expanding markets, Kokubun has been a leader, states a letter from the Ka`u Farm Bureau.
AN EFFORT SUPPORTED by the Ka`u Farm Bureau to establish local ag inspectors to certify coffee, honey and other products from Ka`u has been deferred at the state Legislature. However, the Department of Agriculture has promised to fill inspector positions that were cut back in Kona and Hilo in order to better serve farmers.
|Miss Ka`u Coffee 2010,|
CANDIDATES FOR MISS KA`U COFFEE are selling tickets to the pageant scheduled for Saturday, April 23 and are starting to practice for the event. Five young women are vying for Miss Ka`u Coffee, six are vying for Miss Peaberry, and seven are vying for Little Miss Ka`u Coffee.
COUNCIL MEMBER BRITTANY SMART’S talk story session for Ka`u this month will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. The subject is coming up with a fair formula for impact fees proposed by council member Pete Hoffman. Fees are charged by the county for building homes and other structures to offset impacts on roads, parks and other county infrastructure. Opponents say it drives up the cost building affordable housing.