County Encouraging Public to Propose Properties to be Purchased

The County of Hawai‘i Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission (PONC) encourages the public to propose properties that should be purchased.

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Forms to suggest properties can be downloaded from the County of Hawai‘i website at: http://records.co.hawaii.hi.us/Weblink8/Browse.aspx… or by obtaining a form at the address below. Suggestion forms are due by June 30, 2015, and may be included in the commission’s annual prioritized list and report to the Mayor.

Commissioners review the suggestion forms submitted by the public, and consider the significant factors of each property such as historic and culturally important features; opportunities for outdoor recreation and education; public access to beaches or mountains; preservation of forests, beaches, coastal areas, and natural beauty; protection of natural resources and watershed lands; potential partners for management; and the general benefits to the public. Potential acquisitions are then prioritized and listed in a report that is sent to the Mayor at the end of each year. The Mayor then forwards his recommendations to the Hawai‘i County Council, which adopts resolutions to authorize property purchases. For more information on the process, go to: http://records.co.hawaii.hi.us/WebLink8/DocView.aspx…

Past open space purchases total 1,261 acres, and include Kāwā oceanfront parcels in Ka‘ū; Kaiholena and Pa‘o‘o oceanfront parcels in North Kohala; Kīpapa Park, White Sands Mauka and ‘O‘oma in North Kona; property near Waipio Lookout in Hāmākua; and the newly acquired Banyan trees parcel in Hāwī town.

PONC funds are derived from 2% of Hawai‘i County’s annual real property tax revenues. The County has also been able to obtain more than $7.5 million in matching funds and donations from other sources to help purchase open space properties. A Maintenance Fund has also been established to maintain properties that are acquired with PONC funds.

The nine PONC commissioners represent each of the nine County Council districts on Hawai‘i Island. To find out the commissioner for your district go to: http://records.co.hawaii.hi.us/…/1/doc/73270/Electronic.aspx. The Commission meets every other month at the Hilo County Building or the West Hawai’i Civic Center, and public testimony is welcome.

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