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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                    November 17, 2006

Release No. M-118-06  

 

 

SHOPPING CENTER OWNERS AGREE TO ALLOW  ACCESS

FOR NIU WASTEWATER FORCE MAIN PROJECT

 

            Mayor Mufi Hannemann has convinced the owners of Niu Valley Shopping Center to reverse their position and allow the City to use a portion of the parking lot to work on the Niu Valley wastewater force main replacement project.

           

            Work on the project has been stalled since August when the landowner, King’s Cathedral and Chapels, could not come to an agreement to allow the City access to a small portion of the shopping center parking lot. Earlier this month, the City suspended work on a permanent replacement for the underground pipe that handles sewage for East Honolulu.

 

            Yesterday, Hannemann met with James Marocco, senior pastor for King’s Cathedral, and other representatives of the church and obtained their agreement to drop their previous demands and allow the City temporary access.

           

            Hannemann said, “We appreciate the church’s position and are grateful its leaders have decided to allow us the temporary access that is crucial for the force main replacement. That’s a project that will benefit the entire East Honolulu community.”

 

            Marocco said, “We have always wanted to be a blessing to the community and are thankful that we can be at this time by providing access so that the county can fix the sewer problem in East Oahu.

 

            “I am thankful for the mayor and his staff who stepped in to resolve the concerns expressed by King’s Cathedral.”

           

            Jeannine Johnson, secretary of the Niu Valley Community Association, said, “We’re pleased to hear that King’s Cathedral has agreed to allow the City’s sewer replacement work to resume. We’re very appreciative that the mayor resolved this so our sewers won’t back up.”

 

            Access to the parking lot is needed for drilling equipment to install a replacement for a corroded force main under Kalanianaole Highway. After that pipe ruptured three times in February 2005, the City installed an emergency bypass of plastic pipe down the highway median, where it is vulnerable and exposed.

 

            In order to perform the directional drilling for the permanent underground replacement line, the City initially obtained agreement to use part of the shopping center parking lot from Sofos Realty, which manages the shopping center for King’s Cathedral. In August, the church overturned that agreement due to a conflict with the contractor.

 

            The City then tried working with the church and its attorneys on a very restrictive agreement to use only 4,600 square feet, which includes the landscaped area fronting the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant and its drive-through lane. However, issues with insurance and other restrictions could not be resolved and caused negotiations to break down.

 

            Given that an agreement could not be reached, the City suspended work on the project earlier month.

 

            Mayor Hannemann called for a meeting with Marocco, and they were able to resolve the issues.

                                   

            Work is now scheduled to resume on January 15, 2007.

           

            (Reporters please note: Force mains and sewers are both types of underground pipe that carry wastewater or sewage. The difference is, in a force main, the stuff flows under pressure – it’s pushed along from the pump station. In a sewer, gravity moves the wastewater.)

           

           

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Contact:

            Eugene Lee, Director of Design and Construction, 523-4564

            Craig Nishimura, Deputy Director of Design and Construction, 523-4716

            Eldon Franklin, Chief of DDC Wastewater Division, 527-5386

 

Friday, November 17, 2006

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