Thursday, July 14, 2011

Help for State Facilities Upkeep

The state-owned Kamamalu Building, located on the corner of Richards St. and King St., is one of the facilities that might benefit from the new law.

New Law Encourages Renovation of State Buildings through Public/Private Partnerships

Honolulu, Hawaii. A new law will make it easier for the state to repair, renovate and maintain state facilities. Governor Abercrombie signed House Bill 1505 into law as Act 231. The measure creates a state facility renovation partnership program which provides the State with the ability to enter into public-private partnerships while allowing the State to retain the land under the building and charge lease rent via a ground lease on the property.

"As we have entered a new day in Hawaii, I am pleased that Governor Abercrombie has signed HB1505 into law because this bill provides the State with the ability to engage in 'out-of-the-box' financing for the repair and maintenance of our state buildings," said Rep. Sharon Har, the bill's introducer. "These types of public-private partnerships work in other states and will assist the State of Hawaii in moving forward with our ailing building infrastructure."

The state facility renovation partnership program will be administered by the Department of Accounting and General Services. The department is now responsible for conducting a comprehensive review of all state office facilities and to compile a list of priority facilities best suited for the program.

The department may then enter into an agreement with a private investor for the sale of the facility. The private investor would renovate, maintain or construct the facility, and lease the facility to the state. The state would maintain ownership of the land beneath the facility. The state would have the option to purchase the facility back from the private investor.

"The condition of our state facilities is a reflection on state government," added Rep. Har. "Act 231 provides the state with another tool to keep our state facilities safe, clean, and a source of pride for the people of Hawaii."

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