Meeting to discuss future
of facility for sex offenders

State lawmakers will discuss the future of the Pearl City sex offender treatment facility at a town meeting Wednesday.

State Department of Health officials are expected to make a presentation on their plans for the facility, which has drawn protest from area residents since it was established more than two years ago.

Recently, the department announced it could take up to six years to evaluate whether the facility should be moved.

Former Gov. Ben Cayetano and his administration promised that the location was only temporary and that the 10-bed facility would be moved. But the state Health Department, under Gov. Linda Lingle, has said there are no guarantees the center will be relocated.

"This is the first opportunity, I think, that the community is going to have to dialogue with the administration on this issue," said state Rep. Mark Takai (D, Newtown-Waimalu).

"The thing that I would like to see done is the administration and the Department of Health be very upfront and not catch us off guard," he said.

The public meeting will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Lehua Elementary School Cafeteria.

The discussion will also include the state's plans on other facilities located on Waimano Home Road and a review of the area's most recent development master plan, said state Rep. Roy Takumi (D, Pearl City-Pacific Palisades).

"There's been a lot of talk about what the state plans to do with this site," he said. "This is just an attempt to say: What are you guys thinking, where are you heading?"

In addition to Takai and Takumi, state Rep. Blake Oshiro and Sens. David Ige, Cal Kawamoto, Donna Mercado Kim and Norman Sakamoto are expected to attend the meeting.


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