Westside levees in trouble

SUBHEAD: In regards to westside levees, the County should attend to safety of residents before subsidizing development. 
By Linda Harmon on 8 July 2009
image above: County has brought concrete blocks to Hanapepe River's edge in preparation for "repair" to deteriorating levee.  In the last few years  the base of the levee has been severely eroded. The Army Corps of Engineers may de-certify Waimea and Hanapepe levees if they are not properly rebuilt.  Photo by Juan Wilson.
To the Honorable Mayor and the County Council of Kauai;
I’m asking you to rethink the intention of spending some $6 million for Waimea expansion and upgrade of the Waimea Waste Water Treatment Plant( that was in the request to the State for matching funds).  I suggest this because neither the Waimea or the Hanapepe Levees have passed certification inspection this year. They require major upgrades. 
I would think they would have funding priority over the above mentioned project because lives and property are at stake.  I was told by the county engineer that they may not have or be able to procure enough money to bring the levees up to revised national standards of safety for future certification. 
July 8th or thereafter the council will consider a loan with the Hawaii Department  of Health from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to expand the Waimea waste water treatment plant. Seems to me we need to be asking for money for levee repair first.   This county engineer  will be calling a meeting to talk about insurance and safety issues in August after getting all the facts and some figures together regarding the levees issue. It was the Army Corps of Engineers that talked the County into building the levees and because the County built them to the specifications required back in the 60's (when standards were different) we have been granted provisional status for the time being.   The County  has to draw up a plan of how to shore up the levees and do the work required to get them certification in the future. Although the Corps of Engineers has given the county a grace period to come up with a plan, coming up with the funding required seems to be one of the big problems not yet faced.  The waste water treatment plant is primary for future development in the Waimea area. But why would we want to do more development in a place that is unsafe without an upgraded levee?  We can’t be assured there will be money avaible in the future for levee repairs. Certainly property taxes won’t bring in as much revenue as in the past and the State is hard hit as well. I bring this matter before you before you get started proposing spending money on the Waimea Waste Water Plant expansion  when community safety has not been assured for Waimea and Hanapepe.
Linda Harmon 
(808) 335-2737
image above: The County's work on the Hanapepe levee has recently included spraying pesticide on the embankments and cutting down the only tree (see palm stump) along the river. Photo by Juan Wilson.
see also:

No comments :

Post a Comment