Hawaii County Council OKs sale of county land

AP News
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Posted: Nov 19, 2009 3:59 PM

Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi's proposal to sell 737 acres of land to help balance the county's budget has been approved by the Hawaii County Council.

The 6-3 vote came Wednesday. In other action, the council voted against requiring Kenoi's administration to release terms of the sale, or to gain the council's approval before finalizing land sales.

The administration hopes to sell the Hamakua land above Paauilo for $8.2 million to balance Kenoi's $386.7 million budget.

The county acquired the land as part of a 1994 tax settlement with bankrupt Hamakua Sugar Co.

Land sale opponent Hamakua Councilman Dominic Yagong believes a sale won't go through because several Native Hawaiians claim they are the actual owners of the land.