Agricultural Park; Hamakua

Directs the agribusiness development corporation to provide for
the planning, design, and construction of an agricultural
subdivision in the Hamakua district of the island of Hawaii.
Appropriates $1 for that purpose, to be expended by the

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.949        
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that hundreds of acres of
 2 former sugarcane land along the Hamakua coast, on the island of
 3 Hawaii have laid idle since the closure of the last plantations.
 4 Meanwhile, hundreds of displaced sugar workers search for jobs
 5 and opportunities to enter into agricultural endeavors.  Others,
 6 who are already farming or ranching successfully elsewhere, are
 7 interested in leasing Hamakua lands to expand their operations.
 8      With a master lease from the department of agriculture, the
 9 Hamakua, North Hilo agricultural cooperative has subleased all of
10 its one thousand four hundred acres to over one hundred seventy-
11 eight farmers and ranchers.  Additionally, the department of land
12 and natural resources has begun to issue a number of leases.
13 Yet, there remains a strong demand for additional parcels,
14 particularly smaller ones of ten acres or less with good soil,
15 gentle slopes, adequate road access, and irrigation water for the
16 production of vegetable and root crops.
17      The coordinating entity, the agribusiness development
18 corporation, is empowered statutorily to facilitate and promote
19 agriculture in the State through the reuse of former plantation

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                                     H.B. NO.949        

 1 lands, water delivery systems, roadways, and other necessary
 2 infrastructure.  Therefore, the purpose of this Act is to direct
 3 the agribusiness development corporation to allot the necessary
 4 financial and human resources necessary to plan, design, and
 5 construct an agricultural subdivision in the Hamakua district in
 6 the island of Hawaii.
 7      SECTION 2.  The agribusiness development corporation shall
 8 allot the necessary financial and human resources necessary to
 9 plan, design, and construct an agricultural subdivision in the
10 Hamakua district of the island of Hawaii, and shall take all
11 necessary actions for this purpose, including the following:
12      (1)  Seek a fifty-five year lease from the landowners of
13           affected lands in the Hamakua district and from the
14           State, in order to allow qualified tenants to hold
15           long-term subleases under the agribusiness development
16           corporation;
17      (2)  Establish a partnership with financial institutions to
18           be responsible for all financial transactions on behalf
19           of the agribusiness development corporation, including
20           collecting from tenants and making payments for:
21           (A)  Maintenance fees;
22           (B)  Lease rents;
23           (C)  Assessments for common infrastructure

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                                     H.B. NO.949        

 1                improvements;
 2           (D)  Master lease rent;
 3           (E)  Property taxes;
 4           (F)  Insurance; and
 5           (G)  Agribusiness development corporation management
 6                fees;
 7      (3)  Provide for infrastructure improvements sufficient to
 8           support optimal agricultural production;
 9      (4)  Serve as master lessor and marketing coordinator of the
10           project; and
11      (5)  Assist tenants in seeking applications for agricultural
12           loans from private lenders and applicable federal loan
13           guarantee programs.
14      The legislature finds that success in this partnership will
15 encourage private landowners to make available agricultural lands
16 for farming, increase banks' agricultural loan activity, offer
17 new farmers an opportunity to start, and increase the
18 contribution of agriculture to the diversification of Hawaii's
19 economy.
20      SECTION 3.  There is appropriated out of the general
21 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $1, or so much thereof
22 as may be necessary for fiscal year 1999-2000, for the planning,
23 design, and construction of an agricultural subdivision in the

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                                     H.B. NO.949        

 1 Hamakua district of the island of Hawaii.
 2      SECTION 4.  The sum appropriated shall be expended by the
 3 agribusiness development corporation for the purposes of this
 4 Act.
 5      SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 1999.
 7                              INTRODUCED BY:______________________