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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                          November 17, 2006
Release No. M-120-06





            The City has finalized a public-private partnership with Hawaii Reserves, Inc., to ensure that all of Laie is connected to the City's sewer system, Mayor Mufi Hannemann has announced.

            The mayor informed the residents at a meeting of the Laie Point Community Association last week in Laie.

            The agreement, which was announced last month, ends a decade of negotiations.

            Hannemann said, "This transfer will give the City a modern collection and treatment system in Laie and the homes there will no longer have to depend on cesspools."

            "We're pleased of course," said Nina Carter of the Laie Point Community Association. "We're very grateful for the mayor's commitment and the hard work of his staff in working for our community."

            The City took over operation of the Laie wastewater system on November 1. Transfer of the property and title is being finalized and pending  City Council approval. The system serves more than 400 homes in Laie. It includes the Laie Water Reclamation Facility, which treats wastewater from the community to stringent tertiary standards and was built by Hawaii Reserves for $20 million.

            "This agreement is another example of a successful public-private partnership negotiated by our Administration," said Hannemann. "I remember dealing with the first stages of the Laie wastewater improvements back in 1995, when I was chairman of the City Council Planning Committee. This agreement is a win-win outcome that will give the City a modern wastewater treatment and collection system in a community that was once served primarily by cesspools." 

            R. Eric Beaver, President and Chief Executive Officer of HRI, is pleased with the City's cooperation over the years, and is in full agreement that this is a win-win for HRI, the City, the community and the environment.

            Hawaii Reserves manages or owns more than 6,000 acres of land in Laie for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which acquired most of the historic village and its environs in 1865.  The company provides water supply, wastewater and road maintenance services, among other things, and has been negotiating for the transfer of wastewater services with the City since the mid-1990s.

            By the time the transfer is done, Hawaii Reserves will have spent more than $31 million and the City will have spent more than $13 million on the Laie wastewater collection and treatment system.  Because of Hawaii Reserves' involvement and investment, the City estimates that eventually more than 600 homes in Laie will be sewered, using a low-pressure collection system that is new to Hawaii.  After the operational transfer of the existing system, Laie homeowners on the system will pay City sewer fees like all other City sewer users.

            City Environmental Services Director Eric Takamura said the City's acquisition of the Laie system will take the City a step closer toward the long-term goal of bringing municipal sewer service to all Oahu communities. The North Shore and most of Windward Oahu between Kahaluu and Laie are still served by cesspools.



Media contacts:

            Eric Takamura, Director of Environmental Services, 692-5159

            Carrie Okinaga, Corporation Counsel, 523-4115


Friday, November 17, 2006

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