Maui News

Bill seeks reduction in Ag Water Rates for Molokai Homesteaders

February 7, 2011, 9:07 AM HST
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By Wendy Osher

A bill seeking a reduction in agricultural water rates for irrigation users on Molokai advanced in the state legislature. House Bill 1483 is designed to provide relief to homestead farmers on the Friendly Isle.

Molokai Hawaiian Homelands are shown in yellow. Image courtesy DHHL.

The bill was passed on Wednesday by the House committee on Hawaiian Affairs and now heads to the committees on agriculture and water, land and ocean resources for consideration.

HB 1483 specifically directs the Department of Agriculture to provide water at a reduced rate to Molokai Irrigation System users who lease tracts of land under Section 207 of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act. It also requires the Department to forgive past due bills for the provision of irrigation water for Molokai homestead farmers.

Rep. Mele Carroll who introduced the bill said, “With the severe economic impacts facing Molokai and it’s residents on a daily basis, the passing of House Bill 1483 by the Committees on Hawaiian Affairs will bring some much needed relief by allowing the Department of Hawaiian Homelands farmer lessee’s whose very lives are dependent on the availability of affordable water to continue to do so at a reduced rate.”

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