Honokaa-Paaulio Irrigation

Extends operation and maintenance contract of the lower Hamakua
ditch; authorizes the Department of Agriculture to establish
water tolls to cover the cost of running the Honokaa-Paaulio
Irrigation District.  (SD1)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           S.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                     A BILL FOR AN ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the bankruptcy
 2 closure of the Hamakua sugar plantation caused an economic
 3 depression and unemployment.  The Hamakua community is now moving
 4 toward recovery by transforming former sugar cane fields into
 5 diversified farms and the existing lower Hamakua ditch is
 6 essential for success of this effort.  The ditch will provide an
 7 affordable and reliable irrigation water source allowing farm
 8 viability and also creating agriculture-related jobs in
 9 transportation, trades, and equipment sales and repair.  All of
10 this economic activity is for the public benefit and will also
11 reduce pubic assistance.
12      The lower Hamakua ditch is presently being operated by the
13 State of Hawaii under a bankruptcy settlement agreement and the
14 existing operation and maintenance contract will expire on June
15 30, 1999.  The board of agriculture is in the process of
16 establishing an irrigation district pursuant to chapter 167,
17 Hawaii Revised Statutes, and such authority will not be in place
18 by the June 30 expiration date.
19      The purpose of this Act is to grant the department of

Page 2                                                     1282
                                     H.B. NO.           S.D. 1

 1 agriculture without regard to any law to the contrary:
 2      (1)  Authority to extend the existing operation and
 3           maintenance contract for six months or until such time
 4           the irrigation district administrative rules become
 5           effective; and
 6      (2)  Interim authority to establish water tolls and collect
 7           such amounts exempt from chapter 91, Hawaii Revised
 8           Statutes, to cover the cost of the irrigation district
 9           operation until the administrative rules are adopted.
10      SECTION 2.  There is appropriated out of the general
11 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $75,000 or so much
12 thereof as may be necessary to establish the irrigation district
13 pursuant to chapter 167, Hawaii Revised Statutes, fund the
14 contract extension, and defray the cost of setting and collecting
15 water tolls for the 1999-2000 fiscal year.
16      SECTION 3.  The provisions of section 167-5, Hawaii Revised
17 Statutes, relating to irrigation projects being self-supporting
18 shall not apply to the irrigation district operation covered by
19 this Act between the effective date of this Act to July 1, 2001;
20 provided that the revenues collected from the water tolls during
21 the interim period shall be deposited into the irrigation system
22 revolving fund until the irrigation district administrative rules
23 have duly established the water tolls and assumed the management

Page 3                                                     1282
                                     H.B. NO.           S.D. 1

 1 of the irrigation district operations pursuant to chapter 167,
 2 Hawaii Revised Statutes; and provided further that any
 3 unencumbered balances remaining in the appropriation in section 2
 4 of this Act shall be transferred into the general fund.
 5      SECTION 4.  The sum appropriated and authorized shall be
 6 expended by the department of agriculture for the purposes of
 7 this Act.
 8      SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect on June 30, 1999.