Your Government — Ship passenger arrival fee mulled

LIHU‘E — Members of the Kaua‘i County Council are poised to take action at their meeting Wednesday on a resolution they feel will further protect residents of the island from drug use, and prevent more invasive species from setting up new homes on Kaua‘i.

During a meeting at the historic County Building last Wednesday, members of the council’s Finance/Intergovernmental Relations Committee approved a resolution to accomplish those goals.

The resolution is asking members of the state Legislature to authorize leaders in the Harbors Division of the state Department of Transportation to impose on and collects fees from international passenger-ship companies and the Hawaii Superferry to establish funds for drug-interdiction and invasive-species-prevention programs.

The resolution, which was authored by Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura, says the programs are necessary due to an increase in passenger cruise ships to ports in Hawai‘i.

Specifically, such ships have been stopping at Nawiliwili Harbor on Kaua‘i.

The costs for the program will be identified and secured from harbor fees from the Harbors Division of the state DOT, the measure has recommended.

The resolution has no force of law, and reflects a wish of the council.

The resolution, when passed, will be sent to Gov. Linda Lingle; Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste; Big Island Mayor Harry Kim; Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa; Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann; members of the Kaua‘i state legislative delegation; DOT Director Rodney Haraga; officials at other government agencies; John Garibaldi, chief executive officer with Hawaii Superferry; Colin Veitch, chief executive officer with Norwegian Cruise Lines; Keren Gundersen of the Kauai Invasive Species Committee, and her counterparts on the other islands.

Lester Chang, staff writer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 225) or lchang@kauaipubco.com.

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