State agency wants Mauna Kea observatories to pay more rent - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

State agency wants Mauna Kea observatories to pay more rent

File image of Mauna Kea summit File image of Mauna Kea summit

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is calling on the state to raise the rent for observatories on Mauna Kea.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports bills introduced on behalf of OHA say the University of Hawaii, which holds a master lease for the Mauna Kea Science Reserve, has "failed to charge sufficient sublease rent" for the observatories.

The legislation would require the university to set its lease payments based on environmental damage, impact to Native Hawaiians and administration of its management plan.

Observatories on the mountain are only charged $1 a year. The exception is the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope, which is paying $300,000 a year for its sublease. That amount is expected to increase to over $1 million in the next decade if the telescope is built.

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