Honolulu – Fee increases for users of Hawai‘i small boat harbors and boating facilities will be implemented soon, after they were signed into law by Governor David Ige on August 13, 2019.
“Our goal was to set fees that are fair according to use,” said Ed Underwood, Administrator for DLNR’s Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR). “DOBOR is only allowed to collect fees to pay for expenses of operating, maintaining, and managing our facilities. The revenues from the fee increases over time will help to reduce the significant backlog of deferred maintenance so we can make our harbors safe and appealing once again.”
“The new rates are still very competitive when compared to both public and private mooring rates elsewhere in the State,” Underwood noted.
DOBOR last implemented a comprehensive set of fee increases in 1994. The changes were made possible through rule amendments in compliance with statute that update slip fees for DLNR harbors, price of electricity, shower access, dry storage, vessel registration, and numerous other fees associated with vessel operation and use of boating facilities in Hawai‘i. By statute, slip fees for mooring a vessel are now being set by appraisal, as determined by a third-party appraiser.
Protection of Hawai‘i’s limited natural resources is reflected in certain amendments in the new rule package. For example, fresh water may now only be used for specific activities related to boating. Boat launch ramp fees will no longer cover the use of fresh water at boat and trailer washdown facilities. “Last fiscal year, DOBOR paid $1,074,000 out of the Boating Special Fund for water. We have 25 boating facilities statewide. The water bills for 15 of these facilities exceeded $20,000, including 3 facilities where water bills exceeded $100,000. Our water bill for the