Mayor Kim Urges Community to Observe CDC Guidelines Over July 4 Holiday

Mayor Harry Kim is urging the Hawai‘i Island community on Tuesday to keep up the good work of observing CDC guidelines of face masks, social distancing and hand hygiene over the upcoming July 4 holiday, amid an upsurge of COVID-19 cases on the U.S. Mainland.

County and State workers at parks and beaches will be reminding the public to please refrain from customary large gatherings during the Independence Day weekend, to prevent the spread of the virus. This year, the official observance of Independence Day falls on Friday, July 3, with most traditional festivities cancelled due to the pandemic.

“Hawai‘i remains in a very good place with the lowest case count per capita in the nation, thanks to you following these preventive measures,” Mayor Kim said. “Let’s continue to keep Hawai‘i safe by following these measures, and we’ll get through this together as a community.”
Hawai‘i County workers have been posting highly-visible signs in all of its public rest rooms and other facilities which say “Help Keep Hawai‘i Safe.”  The Departments of Public Works and Parks and Recreation continues to deploy disinfection teams known as “Bug Busters” to sanitize high touch surfaces such as hand rails, traffic buttons and park areas.

“With everyone practicing these preventive measures and encouraging others to do so, too, we’ll get through this together,” Mayor Kim said, wishing everyone a happy and healthy Fourth of July weekend.

Load Size Restriction at East Hawaii Regional Sort Station Continues

East Hawaiʻi Regional Sort Station services are closed to businesses hauling commercially-generated waste larger than five (5) cubic yards through September 30, 2020. This restriction may end earlier if circumstances change. A five cubic-yard load will fit in a standard size pickup truck with an 8-foot long bed filled to the top of the cab.

The Sort Station, located at the South Hilo Sanitary Landfill (aka Hilo Dump), will continue to accept businesses hauling residentially-generated waste during regular business hours from 7 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. daily.

The county apologizes for the inconvenience and thanks you for your patience and understanding.  

Please visit online for future closure information and locations, or call our Department of Environmental Management, Solid Waste Division Office, at 961-8270.

County to Take Over Kea`au Armory from State as Parks Facility

The State of Hawai‘i’s Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) recently approved the transfer of the Kea`au Armory in Puna to the County of Hawai‘i.

The final processing is in progress, and once the transfer is complete, the County Department of Parks and Recreation will utilize the Kea‘au Armory for recreational purposes such as youth enrichment program activities, after-school programs, Summer Fun and sports and fitness activities.  The armory will also be available for meetings, clubs and activities, town hall meetings, and emergency shelter use.

The property is currently utilized by the Hawai‘i Army National Guard to administer their Starbase Program, an educational outreach program designed to improve skills and knowledge in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at the 5th grade level.  

Discussions between the State Department of Defense and the County have resulted in an agreement that allows the Starbase Program continued use of the facility until another site can be found for the program.

In 1957, the Hawai‘i National Guard built the Kea`au Armory at the three-acre site and utilized the facilities up to the present time.  However, in recent years the site and facilities became too small to accommodate the overall operations of the National Guard, which has since moved its operations to the Keaukaha Military Reservation in Hilo.

County Vehicle Registration & Licensing Open for Limited In-Person Services

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Finance wants to remind our customers that the Division of Vehicle Registration & Licensing (VRL) offices are open for limited in-person services, and the best way to save time is by using the on-line appointment scheduler.

All VRL offices, with the exception of the Nā‘ālehu and Waimea offices, will be open for limited services from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Nā‘ālehu office will be open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays by appointment only, and the Waimea office remains closed until further notice.

Operations will be modified to ensure the safety of both customers and employees. Face coverings must be worn, and customers must adhere to the recommended 6-foot social distancing. Only those customers receiving services will be allowed inside the lobby, and minors or those needing additional assistance may have one additional person accompany them, if needed.  

Appointments for both vehicle registration and driver’s license transactions may now be scheduled online; walk-ins are welcome but will be subject to daily limits based on the availability of staffing and the estimated transaction processing time. 

With higher demand upon the initial reopening, the Vehicle Registration & Licensing offices will be limiting transactions to the following:

Driver’s License Transactions
• Renewals of driver’s licenses and State IDs that are either expired or will be expiring in the months of March, April, May, June, or July 2020.
• Initial driver’s licenses (out-of-state transfers), permits (written tests) and state identification.
• Replacement of lost driver’s license, permit or state identification.

Motor Vehicle Transactions
• Ownership transfers
• Initial registrations
• Duplicate titles and registrations
• Replacement license plates and emblems

Due to ongoing health concerns, no road tests are being scheduled at this time.  Additionally, no appointments for vehicle registration renewals will be offered so that we may concentrate on those vehicles that need to be registered and are currently operating without a valid registration or license plates.  Vehicle Registration Renewals may be completed through mail-in, online, drop box, or automated kiosk alternatives.  

Auto dealers and fleet registrations will only be able to use the drop-off and pick-up services.  Customers with driver’s licenses that aren’t expiring within the next 30 days may use the online appointment scheduler to book appointments; however, please don’t make appointments for future dates that are less than a month before your current driver’s license will expire. 

We recognize that getting a “Gold Star” compliant driver’s license or state ID is important to many of you; however, please be aware that Department of Homeland Security has extended the deadline until October 1, 2021.

Vehicle Registration Renewals 
(1) Mail in renewals can be sent to County of Hawai‘i, Motor Vehicle Registration, 101 Pauahi St., #5, Hilo, HI 96720.
(2) Online applications can be found on our county website at: https://mvr.ehawaii.gov/renewals/lookup.html?county=hawaii   
(3) Kiosks are located at the Safeway stores in Hilo and Kona as well as the Foodland store in Waimea, and at the Aupuni Center in Hilo adjacent to the County’s Planning Department.
(4) In-wall drop off slot at the Hilo MVR office.  (Please do not drop off or mail in renewal applications with “cash”).

Safety Inspections
• Safety inspection certificates/stickers that expired prior to May 31, 2020 will remain valid through August 31, 2020.  This will allow you to renew your vehicle using any of the 4 listed methods above.  Your vehicle must still be properly registered with the County Motor Vehicle Registration office to legally operate on public roadways. 
• Safety check certificates/stickers that expire on or after June 30, 2020 will be granted a 3-month extension.  For example, if your safety check certificate/sticker expires at the end of September 2020, you will have an additional 3-months (or until December 31, 2020) to get a new safety check inspection performed on your vehicle.  Upon passing the vehicle inspection, you will be issued a certificate of inspection and sticker that will be valid for 12 months from the date the vehicle is inspected. 

Driver’s License or State ID’s renewals (issued after May 1, 2014) 
Mail in renewal applications to 349 Kapi‘olani St., Hilo, HI 96720.  Duplicate license requests for lost licenses will also be accepted by mail.  Please see our website at www.hawaiicounty.gov/departments/finance/vehicle-registration-licensing for application details and forms.

We appreciate your patience and look forward to expanded services in the hopefully, not too distant future.

Mayor Kim Issues Emergency Rule No. 9, Reopens Swimming Pools, Bars

Hawai‘i County Mayor Harry Kim issued an Emergency Rule Thursday that reopens public swimming pools and bars, and allows outdoor organized sports in phases. Nightclubs, large indoor and outdoor venues such as concerts and conventions, and road races such as marathons will remain closed.

Under the Rule, bars may reopen, with safety requirements identical to restaurants, with some added safety measures:
i. Limit groups within the bar to a maximum of ten (10) individuals per group.
ii. Ensure groups within the bar maintain at least six (6) feet of separation from other groups.
iii. Prohibit groups within the bar from intermingling.
iv. Designate areas to separate groups at least six (6) feet apart from each other.  (E.g., through ropes or other physical separation for standing areas, or the seating of guests at separate tables, or both).
v. Require all employees that interact with the public wear face coverings.
vi. Ensure all customers wear face coverings when entering and leaving the bar, but allow customers to remove the face covering while in the bar.

Exhibit 2 of the Rule deals with County Parks and Recreational Facilities. New provisions include the opening of more County park and recreational facilities and activities, including swimming pools (beginning July 13), camping (beginning July 13 and August 1), and outdoor organized team sports in phases (beginning June 26 and July 20, respectively).

Swimming pools may reopen on or after Monday, July 13, 2020, with modified days/hours of operations and modified rules in effect as established by the Director of Parks and Recreation.

Camping is permitted subject to modified rules and these conditions:
• The following campsites will be open for use beginning Monday, 
July 13, 2020:
i. Gilbert Kahele Recreation Area
ii. Spencer Park at ‘Ōhai‘ula Beach
iii. Kohanaiki Beach Park
• The following campsites will be open for use beginning Saturday, 
August 1, 2020:
i. Laupāhoehoe Pt. Beach Park
ii. Kapa‘a Beach Park
iii. Māhukona Beach Park
iv. Ho‘okena Beach Park
v. Punalu‘u Beach Park
vi. Whittington Beach Park
• All other campsites remain closed until further notice unless use is specifically approved by the Director.
• All campers shall be responsible to disinfect/sanitize all common contact surfaces (such as grills, picnic tables, water faucets, restroom fixtures, showers, etc.) prior to and immediately following each person’s use.
• All campers shall provide their own disinfecting/sanitizing supplies and accessories necessary to comply with the preceding requirement and as required to maintain their individual health and safety.
• All tents/canopies belonging to campers from the same group shall be separated by a minimum of ten (10) feet.  All tents/canopies belonging to separate groups of campers shall be separated by not less than twenty (20) feet.

Outdoor organized team sports, such as baseball, softball, soccer, futsal, football (tackle, flag, or touch), rugby, volleyball, basketball and similar sports that are customarily and traditionally played at outdoor venues (hereinafter “Sports Program(s)”) are permitted to resume operations as follows:
• Phase 1: Effective immediately, Sports Programs may resume operations limited to sports conditioning, individual skill development and controlled group situational drills (hereinafter collectively “Practice(s)”) for participants and coaches under the following conditions and requirements:
i. Physical distancing of not less than six (6) feet between individuals shall always be maintained to the maximum extent practicable.
ii. Groups are limited to a maximum of thirty five (35) individuals (includes athletes, coaches, managers, staff, etc. required to successfully implement a practice session) from a single Sports Program. (This is a specific exception from the rule limiting groups to 10 persons at an outdoor gathering.)
iii. Where multiple Sports Programs are present at the same facility, not less than twenty (20) feet of separation shall always be maintained between separate Sports Programs. (Mingling of individuals between Sports Programs shall not be permitted.)

• Phase 2: effective Monday, July 20, 2020, Sports Programs may resume full regimen practices and scrimmages (hereinafter collectively “Training”) and competitive play under the following conditions and requirements:
i. Excluded from this section are outdoor sports and similar activities that require sustained close contact, such as football, rugby, basketball, boxing, wrestling, martial arts, mixed martial arts, etc. These close contact sports may continue under Phase I (above).
ii. Competitive play shall be limited to one Sports Program competing against another Sports Program (e.g., one baseball team playing against another). (This is a specific exception from the rule limiting groups to 10 persons at an outdoor gathering.) 
iii. Groups are limited to two (2) Sports Programs on a common outdoor sports field, court, etc. at the same time.
1. Where competitive play or Training is scheduled in proximity to other competitive play or Training, not less than twenty (20) feet of physical separation shall always be maintained.
2. No mingling shall be allowed between members of separate Sports Programs.

• For Phase 1 and Phase 2, Sports Program operators shall ensure that:
i. Physical distancing protocols and procedures exist, are communicated to and understood by athletes, coaches, managers, staff, scorekeepers/statisticians, and officials/referees/umpires (hereinafter collectively “Participants”) and parents/guardians, family members, friends, supporters and spectators (hereinafter collectively “Non-Participants”).
ii. Close contact engagements beyond those necessary to carry out Practices, Training and competitive play (e.g., huddles, high-fives, fist-bumps, post-game handshakes, team cheers, etc.) shall not be permitted.
iii. Specific considerations are implemented and enforced pertinent to the configuration and controlling physical features of the sports venue relative to the athletic activity engaged in including, but not limited to, maintaining unhindered access to entrances/exits, controlling queues, identifying and accounting for bottlenecks, respecting maximum occupancy of venues and portions thereof, etc.

The following County of Hawai‘i parks and recreational facilities remain closed to the general public:

• All community centers and senior centers
• All gymnasiums and covered play court facilities
• Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Luau Hale 
• Francis F.C. Wong Stadium
• Hakalau Beach Park
• Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium
• Honoka‘a Swimming Pool (ongoing construction)
• NAS Swimming Pool (Hale Hanakahi emergency shelter facility)
• Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens (ongoing construction)
• Shipman Gym
• Waiākea Recreation Center
• Edith Kanaka‘ole multipurpose stadium 

Under the Mayor’s new Rule, the following businesses, operations and activities identified below shall remain closed:

1. Nightclubs
2. Large indoor venues (concerts, sports, conventions, expos)
3. Large outdoor venues (concerts, sports, conventions, expos)
4. Road races (marathons, triathlons, etc.)
Rule 9 takes effect on June 26, 2020 and shall continue through July 31, 2020 unless extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended by the Mayor’s subsequent order, or as otherwise provided by law.  

Mayor’s COVID-19 Emergency Rule No. 9

Pursuant to the authority vested in me by Hawai‘i Revised Statutes Chapter 127A and due to the public health concerns related to COVID-19, I hereby find that immediate promulgation of this rule is necessary and do so in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of this County. This rule amends and restates all Mayoral Covid-19 Emergency Rules.

In accordance with Governor David Y. lge’s Ninth Supplementary Proclamation (“9th Supplementary”), the County and State of Hawaiʻi is within the “Act with Care” phase of the “State Roadmap to Recovery and Resilience.” With the decline of active COVID-19 cases in the County of Hawaiʻi, reopening of more medium risk operations and activities can be allowed. Unless otherwise specified in this rule, all businesses, operations, and activities are permitted to re-open but remain subject to all restrictions and physical distancing requirements of this rule, the 9th Supplementary and any subsequent proclamations or orders, the State Department of Health Reopening Hawai‘i Safe Practices, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and industry guidelines.

A. Work in Businesses or Operations

All businesses, operations, and activities are permitted to open except those businesses, operations and activities delineated in Exhibit 5, as otherwise provided by this rule, and subject to all restrictions and physical distancing requirements of this rule, the 9th Supplementary and any subsequent proclamations or orders, the State Department of Health Reopening Hawai‘i Safe Practices, and any CDC and industry guidelines.

B. Safe Practices

All persons shall implement the following physical distancing and sanitation requirements to the fullest extent possible:

  1. Face covering. Persons over the age of five (5) years old shall wear a face covering as described and recommended by the CDC while in public settings. This requirement shall not apply to persons engaging in exercise activities. This requirement shall also not apply to anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance, or as otherwise specifically allowed under this rule. The cloth face coverings recommended are NOT surgical masks, N-95, K-95, KN-95 or other respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders. Businesses or operations may refuse to allow entry to persons not wearing a face covering, unless an exception applies under this section.
  2. High risk populations. Elderly and others at high risk for COVID-19 are urged to stay in their residences to the extent possible, except as necessary to seek medical care. 
  3. Persons who are sick. Persons who are sick or have a fever or cough or are exhibiting symptoms such as shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell, are urged to stay in their residences to the extent possible, except as necessary to seek medical care.
  4. Physical distancing requirements. All persons shall maintain a minimum of six-feet of physical separation from all other persons to the fullest extent possible. Businesses or operations shall designate with signage, tape, or by other means six-foot spacing for employees and customers in line to maintain appropriate distance. Businesses or operations shall monitor and enforce the six-foot distancing requirement set forth in this rule, whether outside waiting in line or as customers move about inside a facility. Checkout operations shall be modified, to the extent reasonably feasible, to provide this separation or to provide a transparent shield or barrier between customers and checkout clerks.
  5. Limited customer occupancy. Each business facility or operation shall determine and enforce the maximum number of customers that may be accommodated while maintaining the specified separation distance and limiting the number of customers in the facility or at the operation to that maximum number at any time. 

    It is strongly recommended that a maximum of one (1) customer per two hundred fifty (250) square feet of retail floor area be allowed into a facility or operation to maintain the six-foot distancing requirement and increase physical distancing.
  6. Hand sanitizer and sanitizing products. Businesses or operations shall make hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for employees and customers. Employees handling items from customers, such as cash or credit cards, shall frequently utilize hand sanitizers.
  7. Disinfection. Businesses or operations shall regularly disinfect all high-touch surfaces. All customers/patrons shall sanitize hands at entry. Hand sanitizing stations shall be available at each entrance. Business and operations shall assign, train and schedule employees to sanitize carts, conveyors, counters, handles, knobs, and other high touch surfaces. 
  8. Safeguards for high risk populations. Businesses or operations are urged to implement processes to safeguard elderly and high risk customers. High risk persons are encouraged to stay in their residence to the extent possible, except as necessary to seek medical care.
  9. Online and remote access. Businesses or operations shall post online whether a facility is open and how best to reach the facility and continue services by phone or remotely. Businesses or operations shall encourage their customers to do their business remotely by phone or online to the extent possible. 
  10. Pickup at store or delivery. Businesses or operations shall provide for, if feasible, online ordering and purchase of goods and customer pickup of orders at a location outside the facility or shall provide for delivery to customer locations. 
  11. Signage. Businesses or operations shall post a sign at the entrance of the facility informing all employees and customers that they shall, at a minimum: wear CDC recommended face coverings while in the business or operation; avoid entering the business or operation if they have a cough or fever or otherwise do not feel well; maintain a six-foot distance from one another; not shake hands or engage in unnecessary physical contact.

C. Gatherings

Indoor gatherings of groups of up to 10 persons are permitted with a maximum of 50 people provided that physical distancing and safe practices can be maintained unless a greater amount of people are permitted under this rule.

Outdoor gatherings of groups of up to 10 persons are permitted with a maximum of 100 people provided that physical distancing and safe practices can be maintained unless a greater amount of people are permitted under this rule.

D. Specific Rules Relating to Businesses, Operations, and Activities

  • Exhibit 1. Restaurants, bars, food courts, and other food establishments
  • Exhibit 2. County Parks and Recreational Facilities
  • Exhibit 3. Barber Shops and Beauty Operators
  • Exhibit 4. Places of Worship
  • Exhibit 5. Businesses, Operations and Activities to Remain Closed

E. Pursuant to Hawai‘i Revised Statutes Section 127A-29, any person violating this Rule shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

F. This rule shall take effect June 26, 2020 and shall continue through July 31, 2020 unless extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended by my subsequent order, or as otherwise provided by law.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the County of Hawai‘i to be affixed. Done this 26th day of June 2020 in Hilo, Hawai‘i.

Harry Kim 
Mayor 
County of Hawai‘i

CONCURRENCE:
Governor David Y. Ige

View the signed Mayor’s COVID-19 Emergency Rule No. 9 and all Exhibits

To request no cost assistance in providing a safe and healthy business for employees and customers, contact the COVID Task Force on Education and Prevention at 
935-0031. 

Keaau Fire Station Returns to Old Volcano Road

The necessary repairs at the Keaau Fire Station located at 16-579 Old Volcano Road have been completed. Fire personnel returned to the station effective Wednesday, June 24, 2020, at 4 p.m.  

16-579 Old Volcano Road

The fire station had been temporarily closed for repairs since early May, and emergency apparatus, equipment and personnel were moved to a nearby location for the duration of the repairs. 

Modified Seniors’ Summer Recreation Classes Registration

The County of Hawai‘i invites all persons 55 years of age or older to register for the summer session of senior recreation classes provided by the Elderly Activities Division of the Department of Parks and Recreation.  

To provide participants with a safe and enjoyable session in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a few changes this year including reduced class sizes, limited class offerings, and safety requirements to protect the health of participants, instructors and County staff.

Classes, such as sewing, ukulele, bonsai, ceramics, various types of dance and exercise and others will be offered in Hilo, Puna/Ka‘ū and West Hawai‘i beginning the week of July 6 running through the week of September 7.

Information on classes being offered this session may be found at Kamanā Senior Center, Kea‘au Community Center, the Department of Parks and Recreation’s office at the West Hawai‘i Civic Center and online via the “Modified Summer Classes” link on the following webpage.

Classes are limited to one class per person and registration is on a first come, first served basis. Late registrations will not be accepted.  Only one registration form will be accepted per person.  Registration will be taken at the following locations only for the classes being held in the respective geographic areas:

• Puna/Ka‘ū classes: 
Kea‘au Community Center at 16-186 Pili Mua Street
Thursday, June 25 at 8 a.m. to noon

• West Hawai‘i classes: 
West Hawai‘i Civic Center, Building B at 74-5044 Ane Keohokālole Hwy
Thursday, June 25 @ 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

• Hilo classes: 
Kamanā Senior Center at 127 Kamanā Street
Friday, June 26 at 8 a.m. to noon

The registration for Hilo & Puna/Ka‘ū classes only will be set up for drive-thru services only.  Interested persons are asked to follow all posted signs and heed the direction of traffic control staff and park in a designated location.  Staff will then assist with registration paperwork at each person’s vehicle.  Everyone is asked to remain in their vehicle.

Information on classes being offered this session may be found at Kamanā Senior Center, Kea‘au Community Center, the Department of Parks and Recreation’s office at the West Hawai‘i Civic Center and online via the “Modified Summer Classes” link on the following webpage: https://www.hawaiicounty.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/elderly-activities

For more information contact the Department of Parks and Recreation Elderly Activities Division at 961-8710.

County Expands Emergency Resiliency Loan Program

Hawai’i County announced the expansion of its Emergency Resilience Loan Program. In addition to offering financial counseling and zero-interest loans to ALICE (asset limited, income constrained, employed) residents who reside on Hawai’i Island and have lost income due to COVID-19, the program is now open to those with incomes below ALICE levels (see table below):

So far, over $123,000 in emergency zero-interest loans have been approved for workers and entrepreneurs. Maximum loans amounts are $2,500 for individual workers and $5,000 for self-employed persons. Funding is provided by the County of Hawai’i and the Hawai’i Community Foundation.

Local community development nonprofits Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA) and Hawai’i Community Lending (HCL) are administering the program on behalf of the County. HCL provides the loans, while HCA delivers financial counseling to every borrower. 

“The County is pleased to expand this program to help even more working families and self-employed during this difficult time,” said Mayor Kim. “Working with the community, and our partners at the State and Federal government and non-profits, we will get through this and thrive again.”

“The Resilience Loan Program saw a steady stream of applicants from day one because the financial impact of this pandemic has been extraordinary,” said Council Member Ashley Kierkiewicz, who introduced measures to establish and fund the program. “We reviewed the data and pivoted the program’s approach so we can help more families and entrepreneurs get access to important capital and financial empowerment to weather this crisis.”

For more information or to see if you qualify, call 808-934-0801. To apply for a Hawai’i County Emergency Resilience Loan, visit www.HawaiianCommunity.net. Persons without Internet access or a computer are encouraged to call 808-934-0801 to complete an application over the phone.

County Seeks Proposals for 2nd Allocation of Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus Funds

The County of Hawaiʻi’s Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) is set to receive approximately $978,184 in a second allocation of federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-CV2) funding as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).  

Under the CDBG-CV2 program, grants or loan assistance may be used by eligible public agencies and private non-profit organizations to prevent, prepare and respond to the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and are intended to target public health, housing and economic recovery needs in Hawaiʻi County that benefit low- and moderate-income persons.

Projects could include constructing testing, diagnosis or treatment facilities; supporting new businesses or business expansion to create jobs in response to COVID-19; improving facilities to support social distancing and increased sanitation; and expanding microenterprises that address specific needs during quarantine related to medical assistance, food delivery, cleaning, and other essential services. Special preference will be given to proposed projects meeting the urgent needs of low- and moderate-income persons affected by COVID-19 as well as those that aid in stimulating the local economy.

The proposal forms and federal guidelines covering the eligible activities will be available beginning today, June 22 at the locations below or at the OHCD website. Original proposals with supporting documentation plus two (2) copies must be received by 4:30 p.m. on July 13, 2020 at:

Office of Housing & Community Dev. Office of Housing & Community Dev.
1990 Kinoʻole Street, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy
Suite 102 Building B, 2nd Floor
Hilo, HI  96720 Kailua-Kona, HI  96720

For questions regarding the CDBG-CV2 application and submittal process, contact the OHCD at 961-8379 or ohcdcdbg@hawaiicounty.gov. 

Glass Recycling Roll-off Replaced at Volcano Recycling & Transfer Station with Smaller Bin

Due to recurring vandalism concerns, the County’s Solid Waste Division has replaced the non-HI-5 glass recycling roll-off at the Volcano Recycling and Transfer Station with a smaller mobile bin.

Two-Bin Recycling (corrugated cardboard, brown paper bags and non-HI-5 glass) at the Volcano Recycling and Transfer Station is available on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Do not leave your non-HI-5 glass containers at the site when the mobile bin is not present.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and understanding as we tackle the challenges of vandalism at this site. Please visit our www.hawaiizerowaste.org website for locations and future closure information.

Comprehensive Construction Code Update Submitted to Council

The largest update to Hawai‘i County’s construction codes in decades arrived Thursday, June 18, in the Office of the County Clerk, for placement on a committee hearing scheduled for July 7, 2020.

The 197-page bill, which is yet to be numbered, repeals existing Chapters 5 (Building Code), Chapter 9 (Electrical Code), and Chapter 17 (Plumbing Code), and consolidates them within a new Chapter 5 (Construction Administrative Code), Chapter 5A (Building Code), Chapter 5D (Electrical Code), Chapter 5E (Energy Conservation Code), and Chapter 5F (Plumbing Code).

In addition, the electrical and plumbing codes are updated to the 2017 and 2012 standards, respectively. Chapter 5A adopts a new appendix for tiny houses, and building code updates will be addressed in future legislation. The energy conservation code in Chapter 5E was updated earlier this year.

The overall effect of this bill will allow the Building Division of the Department of Public Works to streamline its administration of the permit application and plan review process by consolidating what are presently separate permits from the existing chapters into a single permit. The fees for this permit are derived from a simplified fee structure that is based on the value of the work to be performed.

 “This bill was a monumental undertaking for our staff and our stakeholders that took over a year and a half to get to this point,” said Acting Building Division Chief Robyn Matsumoto. “But consolidating our codes was something that needed to be done because now there is a clear and consistent permitting path that supports a one-permit system. In addition, this new administrative code further prepares us for the upcoming amendments to the building codes.”

Council Member Sue Lee Loy, Chair of the Committee on Public Works and Mass Transit, noted that a lot of thought went in to the structure of the bill, and she praised the Building Division and Legislative Specialist Leslie Chow for their diligent work to re-engineer the codes.

“This co-designing to come up with an updated framework really sets the stage for the streamlining and modernizing of the construction codes,” Lee Loy said. “But also keep in mind the bigger picture – re-working the building permit process will help to pull our economy out of this COVID-19 depression, while reducing plan review time and ensuring up-to-date construction standards.”

A pre-introduction draft of the bill was released for public comment in late May, and during that time stakeholders were asked to submit written comments. Additional changes were made as a result of those comments received by the comment period deadline. Unfortunately, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Building Division was unable to hold topic-focused workshops in Hilo and in Kona. However, testimony will be welcome when the bill appears on the Public Works and Mass Transit Committee on July 7, as well as the two Council meetings that are required before the bill goes to the Mayor’s desk for approval in August.

The bill is available for review on the DPW website.

Road Restoration Plans Announced for Kīlauea Recovery

Hawai‘i County is announcing road restoration plans in order to facilitate long-term recovery and resilience in Puna following the 2018 Kīlauea eruption. 

A bulldozer approaches HVNP park boundary from the Kalapana side in 2014. NPS Photo/David Boyle

Road projects that have been completed include the temporary road on Highway 137 to restore access to Isaac Hale Beach Park and the restoration of Highway 132. To improve emergency connectivity, and to facilitate access to isolated homes, the shoreline, agricultural land, and open space, the following roads and road segments are planned for restoration:

  • Pohoiki Road (awaiting Notice to Proceed);
  • Leilani Avenue from Pohoiki Road to Kahukai Street;
  • Lighthouse Road along with a management plan for public access at Kumukahi; 
  • Highway 137 from the intersection with Highway 132 and Lighthouse Road to Kapoho Vacationland;
  • Highway 137 temporary road to Isaac Hale Beach Park to be restored to permanent standards.

“The 2018 eruption created major challenges, along with some opportunities,” said Mayor Harry Kim. “These road recovery projects take into consideration the future needs of the community and the volcanic hazards that will always be there. By learning from past events, and taking strategic and thoughtful steps, we can build a better future for Puna.”

The four-month-long eruption inundated approximately 13 miles of public roads. 

A cost agreement between the County and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that was announced in March identified about $82 million worth of damage to public roads from the eruption, not including Highway 132. The Federal share of that is about $61.5 million, or 75%. The County’s 25% local match, covered by the State loans, is about $20.5 million. FEMA’s funds are provided on a reimbursement basis.

“These recovery decisions were made following extensive community engagement, technical analysis on the geological conditions and hazard exposure, and consultation with the Disaster Recovery Task Force,” said Douglas Le, the County’s Recovery Officer. 

“We appreciate the input and assistance from Puna residents, and we are committed to building on these partnerships as we finish the recovery plan and move into implementation. That includes working in collaboration with lineal descendants, property owners, and other community members to manage public access to the shoreline at Kumukahi, accessed by Lighthouse Road, in order to protect sensitive natural and cultural resources.”

Public roads that will not be restored are: Hīnalo, Lauone, and Honua‘ula Streets. Funding identified for roads or road segments that will not be restored will be applied to alternate projects to support recovery in Puna. 

As previously announced, Pohoiki Road is the next priority for restoration. The County is ready to begin construction once FEMA grants a Notice to Proceed. In order to facilitate safe two-way traffic, the County plans to realign the lower portion of Pohoiki Road as an alternate project. The historic trees along that route will be preserved. 

Other considerations for alternate projects include improving connectivity for Puna roads; providing safe access and sanitation for recreation; and addressing impacts to communities from past eruptions. 

Other road projects will need to go through the same review process with FEMA before work can proceed or be scheduled. That includes completing design, permitting, Environmental and Historic Preservation Review, and securing right of entry for neighboring properties.

Mayor Kim Explains Why Public Swimming Pools Remain Closed During Pandemic

Mayor Harry Kim explained on Monday why public swimming pools must remain closed at this time. The Mayor issued an Emergency Rule that reopened most businesses, operations and activities effective June 15, while public swimming pools remain closed.

Pahoa Community Aquatic Center

“The most important reason we cannot reopen the pools is because of the inability to keep the rest rooms and showers clean,” the Mayor said. “The facilities need constant monitoring and disinfection to keep them clean due to the heavy use of the facilities by swimmers and non-swimmers, but that’s not feasible due to the shortage of personnel to do it.”

The Mayor said while he understands the public’s desire to return everything to normal, his overriding responsibility is to ensure that people are safe from the highly-contagious Coronavirus, under guidelines from the CDC regarding swimming pools, changing rooms and public bathrooms. 

“Until we are assured that we can meet the responsibility to keep the bathrooms and the swimming pools clean, the pools will stay closed to ensure the public safety,” Mayor Kim said.  

He urged the community to keep up their observance of CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus, including social distancing, face coverings and hand washing. 

“The Coronavirus threat remains, and we must continue to follow the preventive measures so we remain the best in the nation with the lowest per capita infections and fatality rate,” the Mayor said. 

Hawai‘i County on Saturday reported its first active case in three weeks, a reminder that the virus is still present.

Mayor Kim’s COVID-19 Emergency Rule No. 8

Pursuant to the authority vested in me by Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes Chapter 127A and due to the public health concerns related to COVID-19, I hereby find that immediate promulgation of this rule is necessary and do so in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of this County. This rule amends and restates all Mayoral Covid-19 Emergency Rules.

In accordance with Governor David Y. lge’s Ninth Supplementary Proclamation (“9th Supplementary”), the County and State of Hawaiʻi is within the “Act with Care” phase of the “State Roadmap to Recovery and Resilience.” With the decline of active COVID-19 cases in the County of Hawaiʻi, reopening of more medium risk operations and activities can be allowed. Unless otherwise specified in this rule, all businesses, operations, and activities are permitted to re-open June 15, 2020, but remain subject to all restrictions and physical distancing requirements of this rule, the 9th Supplementary and any subsequent proclamations or orders, the State Department of Health Reopening Hawaiʻi Safe Practices, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and industry guidelines.

  1. Work in Businesses or Operations

    All businesses, operations, and activities are permitted to open except those businesses, operations and activities delineated in Exhibit 5, and subject to all restrictions and physical distancing requirements of this rule, the 9th Supplementary and any subsequent proclamations or orders, the State Department of Health Reopening Hawaiʻi Safe Practices, any CDC and industry guidelines.
  2. Safe Practices

    All persons shall implement the following physical distancing and sanitation requirements to the fullest extent possible:
    1. Face covering. Persons over the age of five (5) years old shall wear a face covering as described and recommended by the CDC while in public settings. This requirement shall not apply to persons engaging in exercise activities.This requirement shall also not apply to anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance, or as otherwise specifically allowed under this rule. Businesses or operations may refuse to allow entry to persons not wearing a face covering, unless an exception applies under this section.
    2. High risk populations. Elderly and others at high risk for COVID-19 are urged to stay in their residences to the extent possible, except as necessary to seek medical care.
    3. Persons who are sick. Persons who are sick or have a fever or cough or are exhibiting symptoms such as shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell, are urged to stay in their residences to the extent possible, except as necessary to seek medical care.
    4. Physical distancing requirements. All persons shall maintain a minimum of six-feet of physical separation from all other persons to the fullest extent possible. Businesses or operations shall designate with signage, tape, or by other means six-foot spacing for employees and customers in line to maintain appropriate distance. Businesses or operations shall monitor and enforce the six-foot distancing requirement set forth in this rule, whether outside waiting in line or as customers move about inside a facility. Checkout operations shall be modified, to the extent reasonably feasible, to provide this separation or to provide a transparent shield or barrier between customers and checkout clerks.
    5. Limited customer occupancy. Each business facility or operation shall determine and enforce the maximum number of customers that may be accommodated while maintaining the specified separation distance and limiting the number of customers in the facility or at the operation to that maximum number at any time.

      It is strongly recommended that a maximum of one (1) customer per two hundred fifty (250) square feet of retail floor area be allowed into a facility or operation to maintain the six-foot distancing requirement and increase physical distancing.
    6. Hand sanitizer and sanitizing products. Businesses or operations shall make hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for employees and customers. Employees handling items from customers, such as cash or credit cards, shall frequently utilize hand sanitizers.
    7. Disinfection. Businesses or operations shall regularly disinfect all high-touch surfaces.All customers/patrons shall sanitize hands at entry. Hand sanitizing stations shall be available at each entrance.  Business and operations shall assign, train and schedule employees to sanitize carts, conveyors, counters, handles, knobs, and other high touch surfaces.
    8. Safeguards for high risk populations. Businesses or operations are urged to implement processes to safeguard elderly and high risk customers. High risk persons are encouraged to stay in their residence to the extent possible, except as necessary to seek medical care.
    9. Online and remote access. Businesses or operations shall post online whether a facility is open and how best to reach the facility and continue services by phone or remotely. Businesses or operations shall encourage their customers to do their business remotely by phone or online to the extent possible.
    10. Pickup at store or delivery. Businesses or operations shall provide for, if feasible, online ordering and purchase of goods and customer pickup of orders at a location outside the facility or shall provide for delivery to customer locations.
    11. Signage. Businesses or operations shall post a sign at the entrance of the facility informing all employees and customers that they shall, at a minimum: wear CDC recommended face coverings while in the business or operation; avoid entering the business or operation if they have a cough or fever or otherwise do not feel well; maintain a six-foot distance from one another; not shake hands or engage in unnecessary physical contact.
  3. Gatherings

    Indoor gatherings of groups of up to 10 persons are permitted with a maximum of 50 people provided that physical distancing and safe practices can be maintained unless a greater amount of people are permitted under this rule.

    Outdoor gatherings of groups of up to 10 persons are permitted with a maximum of 100 people provided that physical distancing and safe practices can be maintained unless a greater amount of people are permitted under this rule.
  4. Specific Rules Relating to Businesses, Operations, and Activities
  5. Pursuant to Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes Section 127A-29, any person violating this Rule shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.
  6. This rule shall take effect June 15, 2020 and shall continue through July 31, 2020 unless extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended by my subsequent order, or as otherwise provided by law.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the County of Hawaiʻi to be affixed.  Done this 10th day of June 2020 in Hilo, Hawaiʻi.

Harry Kim
Mayor
County of Hawaiʻi

CONCURRENCE:
Governor David Y. Ige

Northbound Traffic Flow Change on Ali‘i Drive Starting June 17

Motorists who frequently travel on Ali‘i Drive in Kailua-Kona are advised of upcoming changes to traffic flow due to work on the Ali‘i Drive Culvert Replacement Project.

The existing double-cell culvert bridging the Waiaha Drainageway on Ali‘i Drive, adjacent to the Kona Tiki Hotel, is being demolished, and a temporary bridge has been installed as crews work on building a new bridge.

Northbound traffic on Ali’i Drive will routed onto the temporary bridge (pictured on the right) for three weeks starting June 17.

Starting Wednesday, June 17, 2020, the County of Hawai’i Department of Public Works will shift northbound traffic on Ali‘i Drive onto the temporary bridge with southbound traffic continuing to use the existing lane on Ali‘i Drive. The traffic pattern is expected to be in place 24 hours a day for three weeks, until July 8, weather and construction conditions permitting. 

Motorists are advised that the speed limit will be reduced to 15 mph through the construction/detour zone and that they should drive with extra caution in the work zone. Pedestrians on the mauka side of Ali’i Drive will be detoured through the temporary bridge pedestrian walkway. Electronic message boards and road signs will advise motorists of the traffic flow change and speed limit reduction.

Built in 1937, the existing culvert is only 20 feet wide and has become severely corroded due to its proximity and exposure to the shoreline. The new culvert and bridge will have a wider stream flow opening, a longer span and wider lane bridge with wider shoulders for pedestrians and bicyclists while reducing flood hazards in the area. The culvert replacement project has an estimated completion date of May 2021.

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call Isemoto Contracting at 808-329-8051.

County of Hawaii Announces Cancellation of July 4th Festivities in Hilo

The County of Hawai‘i regrets to announce the cancellation of this year’s Hilo Bay Blast Fourth of July celebration. The safety and wellbeing of our community is a priority, as State and County officials continue to encourage responsible personal decision making and appropriate preventive measures due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

The cancellation includes all originally scheduled activities such as the Salute to Our Veterans Hilo Bay 5K Run/Walk at Lili’uokalani Gardens, the Hot Rides Expo at the Hilo Bayfront Soccer Fields, live music performances, children’s activities and various food vendors that were to occur throughout the Hilo Bayfront area. The fireworks display and musical accompaniment that close out the annual Independence Day celebration in Hilo are also cancelled.  

There will be no street closures or modified traffic patterns implemented this year. All County parks will open at 7 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. over the holiday weekend. 

Mayor Harry Kim said he hopes that some of the events can be rescheduled to later in the year, provided that the pandemic threat has eased and people can safely gather.

West Hawaii fireworks displays at Kailua Bay and Queens Bowl in Waikoloa, which are privately organized, were previously cancelled. The Kona Fourth of July Parade was also previously cancelled by its organizers.

Please take this time to celebrate the birth of American independence in a safe and responsible fashion with family and friends. We ask that everyone continue to adhere to physical distancing requirements, always wear proper face coverings and ensure proper sanitization protocols.  

For more information contact the Department of Parks and Recreation Culture & Education Office at 961-8706.

Environmental Management Administration Offices Open to In-Person Services June 15

The Department of Environmental Management administration offices will re-open to in-person services on Monday, June 15, 2020. This includes the Department’s administration, Solid Waste Division administration, the Abandoned and Derelict Vehicles Program (345 Kekūanāoʻa Street, Suite 41, Hilo) and the Wastewater Division administration and Engineering Section (108 Railroad Avenue, Hilo).

Operations will be modified to ensure the safety of both customers and employees.  Face coverings will be required. The Department encourages customers to continue to practice social distancing by using the options below:

Payments for Solid Waste and Wastewater services are accepted by phone, mail, or at drop box locations (checks only). Most customer service inquiries can be handled by phone or email. 

Mail payments to 345 Kekūanāoʻa Street, Suite 41, Hilo, Hawaiʻi 96720 (attention: Solid Waste Division or Wastewater Division).  

Drop Boxes (for checks only) are available at the Department of Water Supply, 345 Kekūanāoʻa Street (in the front circular driveway), or on the exterior wall of the Motor Vehicle Registration Office at the Aupuni Center, 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 5, Hilo (by the U.S. Postal Service blue mailbox).  

For payments by phone, or if you have a question or want to schedule an appointment, call:

Administration:  808-961-8083
Solid Waste Customer Service:  808-961-8339
Wastewater Customer Service:   808-961-8338
Wastewater Engineering:  808-961-8615

Walk-ins are accepted, but appointments are recommended. Notary service and engineering services will be by appointment only. Please notify our office if you scheduled an appointment but are feeling ill, and we will gladly reschedule it.    

The public’s understanding is very much appreciated during this challenging time.  

County of Hawaii Announces Extended Enrollment for Summer Fun Program

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation announces extended enrollment for the no-cost 2020 Summer Fun program at the following sites:

• Pāpa‘ikou Gym / Frank M. Santos Park
• Honoka‘a Gym / Honoka‘a Park
• Waimea District Park
• Nā‘ālehu Community Center / Nā‘ālehu Park
• Rep. Robert N. Herkes Gymnasium & Shelter (Ka‘ū District Gym)
• Pāhoa Neighborhood Facility / Pāhoa District Park
• Herbert Shipman Park / Kea‘au Armory

The program will begin on Monday, June 15 and end on Friday, July 17, operating from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday and include a snack and take home-lunch.  Enrollment is open to children who have completed 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th grade this past school year. There is NO CHARGE for this program.

Enrollment will be accepted on a first come, first served basis by calling the Recreation Division at 961-8740 during business hours (7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.). No walk-in enrollment applications will be accepted.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Summer Fun program will be significantly modified to address the health and safety of program participants and staff.  The program will adhere to all federal, state and county level rules and standard for safe operation, as appropriate. along with various applicable industries and organizations. 

For more information contact the Recreation Division at 961-8740 or via email at recreation@hawaiicounty.gov 

Emergency Loan Program Announces First Approved, Calls for ALICE Workers & Entrepreneurs Who Lost Income Due to COVID

Hawai’i County announced on June 3 the early success of its Emergency Resilience Loan Program in processing 121 applications and approving the first $28,700 for workers and entrepreneurs who have lost income due to COVID-19. 

The program opened last week with funding from the County of Hawai’i and Hawai’i Community Foundation and offers financial counseling and loans to ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) residents who reside on Hawai’i Island and have lost income due to COVID-19. Maximum loans amounts are $2,500 for individual workers and $5,000 for self-employed persons.

Grant and Loan Options Available to Hawaii Island Residents:

Emergency Grants
Hawai’i First Federal Credit Union
www.hawaiifirstfcu.com

Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement
(808) 784-4464
kahiau@hawaiiancouncil.org 
https://hawaiiancouncil.org/kahiau

Liliʻuokalani Trust
(808) 466-8102

Emergency Loans
Hawaiian Community Assets
Hawai’i Community Lending
(808) 934-0801
www.HawaiianCommunity.net 

Personal Loans:
Call your credit union or bank to request more information about available loans.

Local community development nonprofits Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA) and Hawai’i Community Lending (HCL) are administering the program on behalf of the County.  HCL provides the loans, while HCA delivers financial counseling to every borrower.

To qualify, loan applicants must have been ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) prior to COVID and have not received emergency grants due to COVID. See below for ALICE income thresholds:

Household Members Minimum Annual Household Income Maximum Annual Household Income:

1 $14,361 $ 33,296
2 $19,461 $49,548
3 $24,541 $65,800
4 $29,621 $82,052
5 $34,701 $95,267
6 $39,781 $108,482
7 $44,861 $121,697
8 $49,941 $134,911

Online loan applications are available at www.HawaiianCommunity.net.  Individuals with no or limited access to the Internet or a computer may call (808) 934-0801 for a paper application or complete an application over the phone.  Funds will go to qualified applicants on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Applicants who have household incomes below ALICE will be referred to social service agencies for emergency grants.
Applicants who have household incomes above ALICE will be referred to their local credit unions and banks for personal loans.

To apply for a Hawai’i County Emergency Resilience Loan, visit www.HawaiianCommunity.net. Persons without Internet access or a computer are encouraged to call (808) 934-0801 to complete an application over the phone. 

Street Light Repairs in Hilo Started Today

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works Traffic Division will be conducting street light repairs on five streets in the Kaumana area of Hilo.

Starting this week, the Traffic Division will be removing street light poles that need to be replaced and installing new poles.

Street light poles will be replaced on the following streets: five poles on Kilikina Street (from Waialeale Place to the dead end), three on  Waialeale Place, two on Kaeokulani Place, and one pole each on Hokulea Place and Lei Hinahina Place. 

Residents are advised that during this work the area will not have street lights. Those street lights requiring the construction of new foundations may be non-functional for the entire duration of the project.

Work will be conducted weekdays between 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., from June 3, 2020, through Monday, August 3, 2020, weather and construction conditions permitting. 

Street traffic will not be impacted while the street light repairs are conducted. 

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call the Traffic Division at (808) 961-8341.