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State Historic Preservation Division asks for budget raise to fill gaps

Catherine Cruz
The State Historic Preservation Division manages places important to Hawaiʻi's history and culture.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources State Historic Preservation Division is waiting for Gov. David Ige to approve their proposal to increase the budget for the 2022 legislative session.

The proposed budget will help preservation staff efficiently review historic properties including burial grounds and fishponds, and digitize records.

If the proposed budget is approved, SHPD will add 15 new positions including four archaeologists, three administrators, two architectural historians, two burial site specialists, an archivist technician, a historian, and a geographic information system specialist.

SHPD also asks for authorization to begin a third-party review program.

"We do experience getting reports submitted to us that are really not ready for review — so they’re missing pieces, they’re not internally consistent, and things of that nature," division administrator Dr. Alan Downer said.

"So the third-party review, the idea is that they would go through that and do that before it’s submitted. Then it would come to us clean and ready for review," Downer said.

The increased staff will help manage its existing workload as well as increased work stemming from the federal Build Back Better funded projects.

Zoe Dym was a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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