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Kaloko Heights sewer project back before County Council

Developers of the 1,300-unit master-planned Kaloko Heights are choosing a less onerous pathway to finance a $22 million sewer line project, but taxpayers are still protected in the change from an improvement district to a facilities district, county officials said.

Developers want to provide sewer service to the affordable housing component of the project, about 100 units on 10 acres on Hina Lani Street between Ane Keohokalole and Mamalahoa highways. Each unit at the Kaloko project would be about 750 square feet and come furnished with a range, oven, refrigerator and solar water heating.

The County last year approved an improvement district to pay for the project.

Such a district, which require public hearings and a majority of property owners sign up to tax themselves to pay for the improvements, is not necessary because the developers, RCFC Kaloko Heights LLC, Kaloko Heights BIA Holdings LLC and Kaloko Heights Investors LLC, own the development property.

Attorney Thomas Yeh, in a June 24 letter to the County Council, said a facilities district would accommodate the proposed phases and provide a more equitable and flexible method for assessing the costs associated with the construction and funding of the sewer line.

The county is fast-tracking the request in order to accommodate the developer’s request for the timely completion of the sewer line extension in conjunction with the completion a 100-unit affordable housing project to be built by the Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation.

“While affordable housing would pay for future sewer, that project is not included in areas to assessed for costs and financing,” Yeh said.

Resolution 158, creating the facilities district, is on the County Council’s agenda for Wednesday.

The improvements consist of a sewer line extension and related improvements to connect the developer’s project as well as the affordable housing project, extending west within the existing rights of Hina Lani Street and Ane Keohokalole Highway to the existing sewer line within
the Ane Keohokalole Highway fronting the West Hawaii Civic Center.

The sewer line extension will be an all-gravity system located within the existing rights-of-way of Hina Lani Street and Ane Keohokalole Highway.

The council is involved because at some point there will be a county-issued improvement bond to pay for the sewer project.

But Finance Director Deanna Sako said neither the county’s borrowing power nor its bond rating are affected by the sewer bond.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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