Boaters Upset Over New Changes at Kewalo Basin

Mike DeRego
Mike DeRego

KAKAAKO (KHNL) - Boaters protest against the in-coming managers at Oahu's Kewalo Basin.

They say the proposed changes are unnecessary, unfair and maybe even illegal.  Lawmakers assigned the Hawaii Community Development Authority, or HCDA, to oversee Kewalo Basin, as part of the redevelopment of this area.

Boaters don't like it, and they're making their opinions known.

Members of the Kewalo Ocean Activities group, or KOA, have been at Kewalo Basin for years and they don't like what's planned here.

They're letting the new managers, the Hawaii Community Development Authority, know it.

"It's helpful to get public input, and really what Hawaii Community Development Authority wants to do is make sure Kewalo Basin is a jewel for all the people of Hawaii," said Dan Dinell of Hawaii Community Development Authority.

Changes include allowing recreational boats inside the harbor. Right now only commercial and fishing boats can dock here.

Also increased fees for booths on the pier.

"There is no cost to dot, or HCDA, for that booth. I maintain it. I can't see any reason why we need to be subjected to this. It's just double tax in my mind," said Mike DeRego of Kewalo Ocean Activities.

HCDA says many of these changes, like increased fees, are to help maintain the basin.

And the plan is for these changes to ultimately make Kewalo a better place for everyone.

"Our intent is work, engage with the community and work through these issues," said Dinell.

HCDA Takes over the basin from the state department of transportation on September first.

HCDA says it will look over the suggestions, and possibly make some changes.  But, officials say ultimately Governor Lingle must approve them.