Keywords: bws, board of water supply, backbilling, water bill, city council

 

Today, concerned testifiers shared their Board of Water Supply back-billing stories before the Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee at the City Council today.  Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine introduced a Charter Amendment that would prohibit the Board of Water Supply from continuing to back billing ratepayers, a practice that has been banned or regulated in many other states and jurisdictions throughout the country.

 

“I was recently contacted by the family of a 90-year-old man who received a water bill for over $7000. His monthly bill is normally around $200. The Board of Water Supply continued to bill for the last six months and told him that he has to pay the amount or have his water shut off” Councilmember Pine said. This man along with other testifiers will have the opportunity to share their stories today.

 

“Nearly 4 out of 5 of the Honolulu Board of Water Supply’s roughly 166,000 customers received at least one bill between January and September…” from today’s article in the Honolulu Star Advertiser by Gordon Pang:

http://www.staradvertiser.com/s?action=login&f=y&id=229668451&id=229668451

 

Slowing the project allows time to plan and get feedback, officials are urged

By Rob Perez – Star Advertiser

Deferring to the wishes of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Ino­uye’s family and addressing transparency concerns, the University of Hawaii is slowing the process for pursuing a planned center to house his congressional papers and has dramatically cut the state funding it is initially requesting for the project.

The university’s Board of Regents on Thursday approved seeking $5 million in state bond financing as a way to demonstrate UH’s commitment to the project — a commitment that proponents said was needed to help in efforts to raise more private funds.

http://www.staradvertiser.com/s?action=login&f=y&id=228311771

Responding to community concerns that tons of sludge is being dredged from the Hawaii Kai Marina and dumped in Waianae, Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine is demanding that the Hawaii Kai Community Association remove all of the debris and return it to holding areas in Hawaii Kai.

 

The City has cited SER Trucking, which was hired to truck and store the materials, for not having a proper grading permit. However, Councilmember Pine does not believe this is enough to stop the potentially illegal dumping.

 

“I will make sure that I do everything in my power, including exploring all legislative options to stop this private marina from dumping its sludge in our community and ensure that this unchecked dumping never happens again,” Councilmember Pine said.

 

Waianae residents are upset that the sludge is being dumped in their community and expressed their concerns. Responding to the community, Robert Clark, president of the Hawaii Kai Marina Community Association referred to Waianae residents’ concerns as “total ignorance,” saying, “if they were aware of what that material was, they would say please let me have more of it,”  (Hawaii News Now).

 

Councilmember Pine also responded to Mr. Robert Clark’s statements today, saying “I take great offense to Mr. Clark’s statement and demand that he apologize to the people of Waianae for his comments. The people of Waianae are smart innovative citizens who care deeply about their ‘aina.”

Today at City Council, the Intergovernmental Affairs and Human Services Committee unanimously voted to move an agreement between the City and County of Honolulu (City) and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL) to allow for limited construction on vacant parcels adjacent to Varona Village in Ewa and at the former Navy drum site in Waiawa, forward to the Council for consideration at the August 7, 2013 Council Meeting.

 

The agreement will enable DHHL to move forward with design to construction of the planned Ku’alakai Parkway extension, to extend Ku’alakai Parkway from Kapolei Parkway to Roosevelt Avenue. DHHL does not have immediate plans to develop their acquired land parcel, but according to the resolution, the departmentwill work with neighboring landowners and resident communities, including the Varona Villages community to ensure residents remain informed of improvements to the adjacent vacant land.

 

“As a descendant of plantation workers in Ewa, I am committed to ensuring Varona Village residents remain informed of any development on the vacant property adjacent to their residences. As our community continues to grow, we must ensure that we reach out to our residents to keep them informed,” Councilmember Pine said.