Hawaii land exchange to aid Honolulu rail, raises questions
HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii land officials have started to arrange a property exchange to aid construction of a multibillion-dollar rail line.
The Star-Advertiser reports that the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has agreed to swap land with the city of Honolulu.
Officials say the department intends to give the city a residential land lot in Waipahu worth more than $21 million in exchange for agricultural land the city owns in Kapolei worth less than $5 million.
Officials say the city has already constructed a rail maintenance and storage facility on the Waipahu property.
Some Native Hawaiian beneficiaries say the planned trade shortchanges a land trust they have with the department.
Officials say the Hawaiian Homes Commission approved the deal in 2006, but it still needs approval from the Department of the Interior.
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