LIHUE — Six bills are scheduled for public hearing at the Kauai County Council meeting Wednesday, giving taxpayers the chance to voice their opinions on proposals related to affordable housing, sewage system infrastructure repair, fire department staffing and a new helicopter hangar in at the Lihue Airport.
Bill 2726 looks to be essentially a housekeeping item required for the county to accept the transfer of $13 million from a state government fund in the form of a loan the council approved in October to pay for the first phase of development at the future site of an affordable housing project in Eleele.
The Lima Ola Workforce Housing Development will be constructed on a county-owned 75-acre parcel of land located above the intersection of Halewili Road and the main highway. The county intends to turn the land into a residential neighborhood that will eventually contain 550 homes, most of which will be rented and sold at fixed rates to people who meet low-income requirements.
Completion of the entire Lima Ola project is probably still two decades away, but phase one is expected to be complete by November 2020, according to documents prepared by the county housing agency in its request for the $13 million loan.
The two-year, 13-million-dollar construction project will basically lay the groundwork for the housing development. Phase one includes grading the land, and installing roads, sidewalks, drainage systems and public sewer, water and electrical utilities.
Three of the bills — 2727, 2729 and 2730 — are all related to funding sewage system renovations and improvements. Bill 2727 proposes transferring $1 million within the public works budget to spend on fixing the Wailua sewer pump station, upgrading the Lihue collection system and ensuring compliance with federal water pollution standards.
Bills 2729 and 30 are for transferring about a half million dollars unallocated county funds into the sewer trust fund to pay for renovations at the Wailua wastewater treatment plant.
Bill 2731 was proposed at the request of Kauai Fire Department officials who requested $186,000 to fund three positions in the department’s Ocean Safety Bureau to provide security for crowds at Anini Beach Park on the north shore.
Bill 2728 is requesting the transfer of $825,000 from two accounts — one labeled “Black Pot Improvements” and the other “Kaana Building Initiatives” — to be spent on the construction of a helicopter hangar in Kilauea.Portions of the funds from this bill also go toward another project, the Kilauea/Kolo Road Improvements project.
Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro, who introduced all of the bills by request of the Administration, up for public hearing on Wednesday, did not respond to requests for comment.