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Thursday, November 11, 1999



City & County of Honolulu

Tee for two: $2 more,
that is, for city golf

Ewa Villages, Block J approved

By Gordon Y.K. Pang
Star-Bulletin

Tapa

Starting Jan. 1, Oahu golfers will have to pay an additional $2 for a round at city golf courses -- and even more if they forget to bring their golf identification cards.

The City Council yesterday voted 7-2 to approve a revamped rate schedule, with Council members Mufi Hannemann and Donna Mercado Kim opposing the plan.

Fees for 18 holes of golf on weekdays will increase from $10 to $12 at five of the city's six courses. Weekend rates would go from $14 to $16.

Rates at Kahuku Golf Course, traditionally cheaper, will go from $6 to $8 on weekdays, and go from $8 to $10 on weekends and holidays.

Council Budget Chairwoman Rene Mansho said Oahu residents must show their golf identification cards to get the rates. If they don't have their cards, they must show a driver's license or other local photo identification, and will be fined $4, up from $2.

A replacement card will cost $5.

Mansho earlier had proposed a no-exceptions policy on the golf-ID cards, which led to public outcry.

For nonresidents, rates would increase at all courses from $40 to $42, regardless of the day of the week.

All other golf services -- including senior, junior and monthly rates and golf cart rentals -- will also go up $2.

A handful of golfers yesterday testified against the increase, saying it was unfair to burden them with fee hikes when others using city facilities are being spared.

Mansho reiterated her promise to look at charges for other areas, a suggestion which has drawn heavy criticism from island recreational leagues and programs, as well as fellow Council members.

Council Chairman Jon Yoshimura said he and his colleagues spent a half year hashing over golf fee increases, after rejecting a plan by Mayor Jeremy Harris last spring that called for 50 percent increases across the board.

"This is a very, very reasonable increase," Yoshimura said.

Mansho noted that city courses are still heavily subsidized. The city receives $10 million in revenues but spends $17 million in operations and debt service.

The increased fees will result in $1.5 million more each year for the city.


Measures OK'd include
Ewa Villages plan, 'Block J'

The City Council yesterday approved:

Bullet Bills clearing the way for construction of a single, 465-unit affordable apartment complex at the so-called "Block J" property downtown.

Initial plans called for two towers and 913 units but developers say they can only get backing for one tower due to Hawaii's bad economic conditions.

Bullet Resolutions allowing for the sale of 106 unrehabilitated plantation homes in Ewa Villages to two nonprofit groups. The Ewa Villages Nonprofit Development Corp. would receive and rehabilitate 88 single-family units in Tenney and Renton villages for $5.28 million.

An additional six houses would be sold to the nonprofit as model homes for $1.08 million. Meanwhile, 12 houses in Tenney and Renton would be sold to the Pacific Housing Assistance Corp. for about $2 million for its rent-to-own program.

Bullet A bill allowing signs for second-story businesses in Waikiki. Businesses at about 140 properties could potentially qualify to put up signs. The bill also allows businesses elsewhere on the island more flexibility in using signs.

Bullet A bill requiring the manufacturers and sellers of "fake" identification cards to label them as souvenirs to discourage their use by underaged drinkers.

Bullet A bill limiting smoking at the Waikiki Shell to designated areas. Similar restrictions are already in place at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve and Koko Crater Botanical Garden.

Bullet A resolution urging Mayor Jeremy Harris to establish a board of public golf courses to deal with issues involving the city's six courses.


Gordon Y.K. Pang, Star-Bulletin



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