Today in West Hawaii history | April 27

April 27, 1984: The initiative petition of the Hawaii County Taxpayers Association to reduce the Big Island real property tax rate will be a determining factor in whether there should be the power of initiative statewide, according to Lt. Gov. John Waihee. The top elections official in the state, Waihee said each of the four counties in the state allow voters to initiate changes in law but only the Big Island’s charter allows initiative proposals on financial matters. The petition seeks to lower the rate from $8.60 to $4 per $1,000 valuation.

April 27, 1994: County government leaders and the police officers’ union have deadlocked on contract negotiations, but officers will not strike. Police officers, represented by the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers, may not legally strike and state law requires them to first declare an impasse and then seek binding arbitration. A federal mediator has been appointed by the Hawaii Labor Relations Board to serve as arbitrator and to resolve the dispute. Unit 12, which includes 2,500 officers up to the rank lieutenant, is operating on a month-to-month contract.

The Hawaii County Housing Agency has granted approval for the county to purchase 4.75 acres of land from Nansay Hawaii Inc. for a 33-unit affordable rental project at Ouli, South Kohala. The agency voted in support of paying $500,000 for the parcel located near the midpoint of Kawaihae Road. The land is within Nansay’s planned 458-acre golf course and residential project approved by the council earlier this year. Nansay, using financing from a local bank, would be taksed with developing the estimated $5.8 million “Ouli Ekahi” project.

The first of two rezoning phases for the proposed Villages at Hokukano golf course and residential project receive a favorable recommendation from Hawaii County Council members. The council’s Committee on Planning votes 5-3 to recommend the council change the district classification of 683 acres north of Kealakekua Bay from agricultural five-acre and unplanned to agricultural one-acre.

April 27, 2004: While Lako Street’s connection with Alii Drive should have no significant impact on the environment, the project will take a much bigger bite out of the taxpayer’s wallet. Hawaii County has essentially gave itself permission to start the undertaking, which would link Kuakini Highway and Alii Drive through Komohana Kai and Kiholana Kai subdivisions. However, a reassessment of improvements necessary to reduce the impacts of linking the proposed Alii Parkway with the improved Lako Street has more than doubled from the original estimate of $2 million to $4.5 million.