Boaters Concerned About Management Changes at Kewalo Basin

Dan Dinell
Dan Dinell
Frank Mento
Frank Mento

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Addressing the damaged and unsafe slips is the state's top priority for Kewalo Basin. But some are worried about what happens after that.

A new management team is set to take over at the basin, with plans of an exciting and bright future for the area. But some aren't too happy with the change, saying they won't be included in the harbor's future.

The state Department of Transportation manages and operates the docks. The Hawaii Community Development Authority, or HCDA, is taking over.

"What we wanna do is make sure that we have good, solid day-to-day operations, the security, the water, other utilities," said Dan Dinell, HCDA's executive director.

But the group Kewalo Ocean Activities, or KOA, isn't happy and expresses its displeasure at a protest and meeting.

"HCDA admits it has no idea how to run a harbor," said Frank Mento, KOA organizer. "So our question first off, is why do we need HCDA?"

"Our fear is, without a knowledge of how to run this thing, they admit they don't know that, they're creating a lot of extra problems for our businesses."

One change already proposed is an increase in slip fees, for maintenance.

Boat owners are concerned that the state plans to change slip permits to leases. But they more worried about being left out of the HCDA's long term plans for the harbor.

"By bringing in more slip availability, we'll make sure everyone benefits, and that really is the plan," said Dinell. "Not displacement, but enhancement."

"HCDA is very good in using the words, it's not our intention, or it's our intention to do this," said Mento. "Unfortunately, intentions aren't results."

HCDA says its goal is to work with the current tenants to make this a better basin in the long run.