State seeks steep fee hikes for harbors

It’s the first proposed increase in seven years.
Published: Oct. 13, 2018 at 1:46 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Land Board is proposing steep fees hikes for boaters statewide.

It’s the first proposed increase in seven years.

Some boaters, like tenants at the Ala Wai Boat Harbor, will see a 44 percent jump.

Other types of offshore mooring fees could increase between 300 and 500 percent.

“This is to get us to the point at least where we’re at a break even at these harbors," said Ed Underwood, administrator of DLNR’s Boating and Ocean Recreation Division.

“We just ran the numbers for the first quarter of 2013 and the harbor program is approximately $875,000 in the negative.”

The increases are based on recent appraisals conducted by the DLNR. By law, any fee increases must be justified by an appraisal.

Longtime Ala Wai Boat Harbor resident Sam Monet said the states' financial figures are misleading because one of Ala Wai’s piers has vacant all year due to construction.

“It’s B.S.,” he said.

Monet said the proposed fee increase will drive out many boaters, many of whom are seniors on fixed incomes.

Land board member Stanley Roehrig also wants more financial information. He convinced other board members to defer a vote on the increase for two weeks.

Even if the board passes the increase, it still has to go to public hearings before coming back to the Land Board for final approval.

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