Monday, October 6, 2008

Rep. Sharon Har Helps Parties Reach Kalaeloa Agreement

Navy and Ford Island Properties Reach Tentative Agreement on Kalaeloa Parcels

Rep. Sharon Har informs that the U.S. Navy and Ford Island Properties announced that an agreement between the U.S. Navy and Ford Island Properties on 499 acres of Kalaeloa property has been reached. Prior to the agreement, a group of stakeholders met and addressed community concerns about the operations of three facilities located on the site in question.

The Navy agreed to transfer the land to Ford Island Properties under a long-term lease with an option to purchase the property. The agreement, however, stipulates that Ford Island Properties will not be required to take possession of the property for up to four months. Prior to the agreement, the community had been worried that they would no longer be able to use a bowling alley, a child development center, and baseball and recreational fields. In addition, the status of the three facilities and who to contact regarding their usage during the six-month interim period was unclear. Earlier, the Hawaii Community Development Authority and Ford Island Properties officials have agreed to work together to do all that they can to ensure that the three facilities remain open and available for use even as the Navy is transitioning out of the district.

Rep. Har called a meeting between all parties last Friday, September 26, 2008 to discuss possible options between the Navy and Ford Island Properties, to ensure that operations at the Barbers Point bowling center, child development center, and recreational fields would continue. Based on preliminary discussions between stakeholders at that meeting, the agreement between the Navy and Ford Island Properties sets into motion a plan to ensure that the three facilities will survive the transition and remain operational.

“We are pleased that the Navy and Ford Island Properties were able to come to an agreement on the disposition of the 499 acres at Kalaeloa because it has truly been a win-win not only for the landowners but for the West Oahu community," said Stanford Yuen, Executive Assistant for Intergovernmental Affairs, Navy Region Hawaii. "It is clear that the recreational fields, bowling center, and child development center will continue to exist, and we remain committed to ensuring a seamless transition.”

Here is the status of three facilities:

Recreational and Baseball Fields: The City and County (C&C) agreed to continue operating the fields under a license agreement with the Navy. As the agreement between the Navy and Ford Island Properties goes forward, Ford Island Properties will honor any outstanding license agreements during the interim period until a formal agreement between Ford Island Properties and the C&C can be executed. The fields will remain open and all leagues may continue to utilize the Kalaeloa fields under their permits issued by the C&C.

Bowling Center: The Navy's Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) division will shut down the Bowling Center on September 30, 2008, but is currently working with entrepreneurs Linda Painter and Bev Brennan on executing a concessionaires’ agreement. The concessionaires' agreement allows Painter and Brennan to operate the Bowling Center on a temporary basis and to take over the bowling center as soon as possible while a formal lease agreement can be worked out. Upon the expiration of the concessionaires’ agreement, Ford Island Properties intends to enter into an agreement with Painter and Brennan to ensure that the Bowling Center will remain open. Assuming Painter and Brennan qualify as suitable operators, MWR is hoping to execute the concessionaires’ agreement in the next few weeks. If all goes according to plan, the bowling center will be back in operation in about a month and authorized users will be able to continue using the bowling center as they were prior to the Navy-Ford Island Properties conveyance.

"We are thankful to the Navy and Ford Island Properties for giving us the opportunity to come in as a potential lessee and operator of the bowling center," said Linda Painter. "We recognize the need for the bowling center to continue in Kalaeloa and look forward to working with the community to ensure its success. We would also like to thank Rep. Sharon Har for facilitating the September 26, 2008 meeting on behalf of all the stakeholders to ensure that the parties were aware of their respective options as we all have the community’s best interests in mind.”

Child Development Center: The Navy will continue operating the Child Development Center into the foreseeable future with the goal of having a seamless transition with the next operator. Kama`aina Kids has expressed an interest in operating the facility, similar to another center which they took over at Iroquois Point. Kama`aina Kids, the Navy, and Ford Island Properties remain committed to work together towards this goal. As the Navy will continue to operate the Child Development Center, authorized users of the Navy may continue to utilize the Child Development Center.

It is the intent of the Navy, Ford Island Properties, the Hawaii Community Development Authority, and all potential lessees/operators to allow all three facilities to remain operational and in service to authorized users of the community.

Background: In anticipation of an agreement with the Navy and Ford Island Properties, the Navy's Morale Welfare and Recreation division had decided to close down the bowling center effective October 1, 2008. This prompted a negative reaction from the community with numerous complaints sent to Rep. Har and the Kapolei-Makakilo Neighborhood Board. As there were no representatives from the Navy or Ford Island Properties at the last neighborhood board meeting on September 24, 2008, this escalated the community's concern. Rep. Har quickly put together the stakeholder's meeting on September 26, 2008. The agreement between the Navy and Ford Island Properties allows the transition plan crafted at the stakeholder's meeting to go forward.

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