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L chandler

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  • 1. OFFICE OF THE MAYOR CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU 530 SOUTH KING STREET. ROOM 300 * HONCLUtU, hAWAII 96813 PHONE: I808i 768-4141 * FAX: 1808) 768-4242 • NTERAET: wwvshonoiulu9pv KIRK CALDWELL MAYOR EMBER LEE SHINN MANAGING D)REOTOR GEORGETTE T. DEEMER DEPUTY MANAGING DIRECTOR October 18, 2013 VIA HAND DELIVERY AND EMAIL Mr. Mark A. Chandler, Director U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Honolulu Field Office Region IX 1132 Bishop Street, Suite 1400 Honolulu, Hawaii 96813-4918 — Dear Mr. Chandler SUBJECT: On-Site Program Monitoring Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program April 11-25, 2011 and May2013 and September 27, 2013 Follow-ups This responds to your September 27, 2013, letter addressed to Mayor Kirk CaIdwell, regarding the City’s proposals to resolve open monitoring findings and concerns relating to the Community Development Block Grant (“CDBG”) program of the City and County of Honolulu (the “City”) and the City’s oversight of ORI Anuenue Hale, Inc. (“ORIAH”) and ORIAH’s Aloha Gardens Project. Your letter asked that the City respond in writing regarding HUD’s proposed repayment date for the amounts of $2,883,426 to resolve Findings No. 1 through 4, and $26,000 to resolve Finding No. 5. First, I would like to express appreciation on behalf of the City of your willingness to consider our responses and proposals. We are especially appreciative of your proposal to work with the City and ORIAH to ensure CDBG program compliance on the Wellness Center and the Access LotiParking, while offering a way for the City and ORIAH to develop their own solution for Camp Pineapple. In order to achieve the foregoing, you have proposed a reimbursement figure of $2,883,426 in non4ederal funds to the City’s CDBG account. While this amount is significantly higher than what the City had proposed in its July 18, 2013 letter, we are cognizant of the corresponding increase in your proposal regarding the acreage of land from which CDBG restrictions would be removed. Based on recent discussions that we have had with counsel for ORIAH, we believe that this consideration significantly enhances the prospects for a resolution
  • 2. Mr. Mark A. Chandler October 18, 2013 Page 2 with ORIAH. We strongly believe that such a resolution would be beneficial not only to ORIAH, the City and HUD, but more importantly, it would be in the best interests of the taxpayers and the citizens of Honolulu. While the City finds your proposals to be reasonable, the City has not yet reached the point in our negotiations with ORIAH to be able to confirm to you that the resolution along the lines you propose is achievable. Since subdivision of the property and removal of the Camp Pineapple component requires the cooperation of ORIAH, it is essential that the City first obtain ORIAH’s definitive agreement. Deputies in the Department of the Corporation Counsel met with counsel for ORIAH just yesterday, the results of which were promising. Significantly, ORIAH Counsel acknowledged that any resolution would entail a new written commitment from his client to comply with CDBG obligations with respect to the Wellness Center for an agreed upon period. While we regret that the City is unable to state today that both the City and ORIAH can agree to the terms proposed in your September 27, 2013 letter, the City affirms our willingness to pursue a resolution on these terms with HUD and ORIAH. We are optimistic that we will soon be able to come to terms with ORIAH; if so, we could then provide you with a definitive date for reimbursement payments. We appreciate the patience that HUD has shown in this matter, and we continue to urge that it is better for all concerned to fully exhaust all possibilities for an agreed-upon resolution before proceeding to an enforcement proceeding. The City intends to continue to work diligently with ORIAH and its counsel towards an acceptable agreement along the lines you have proposed. Should you have any questions or require additional information, please contact Corporation Counsel Donna Y. L. Leong. Very truly yours, Ember Lee Shinn Managing Director cc: Nelson Koyanagi, Jr., Director, Department of Budget and Fiscal Services Pamela Witty-Oakland, Director, Department of Community Services Donna Y. L. Leong, Corporation Counsel, Department of the Corporation Counsel

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