Kauai CountysLIHUE >> Last March 11, Allison Fraley took the Kauai County Council on a tour of the county's $2.2 million recycling center and told them she was ready to ask for bids from companies that wanted to use it.
delays keep recycling
center sitting unused
Council members complain
that the mayor has given the
center a low priority
By Anthony Sommer
"I regret to inform you we are behind schedule," Fraley, the county's recycling administrator, told the Council last night. "We haven't put a request for proposal (bids) out."
The 15,000-square-foot, three-building complex was completed 2 1/2 years ago but has never been used. Its sole occupant is Fraley, who uses it as her office.
It originally was designed to provide space for companies to repair and resell discarded appliances to divert them from the county landfill.
The concept has been broadened to include other uses, such as recycling and reselling materials from buildings being demolished. But nothing has gone beyond the drawing boards.
Last year, pressured by the U.S. Department of Commerce, which paid for the facility, to either use it or refund the money to the federal government, the county hired Fraley to come up with a plan to market it.
"I have several interested parties," she told the Council yesterday, but did not specify who they are or what they would do at the center.
"The administration hasn't had a chance to look at what I've put together. That's why I'm hesitating to disclose any more detailed information," she said.
Critics, including many of the Council members, repeatedly have accused Mayor Maryanne Kusaka of being totally disinterested in promoting recycling.
Council Chairman Ron Kouchi said unless the Kusaka administration gets serious about enforcing ordinances barring businesses from taking illegal items such as cardboard to the landfill, they will have no incentive to use the recycling center.
Several vented their frustration that Fraley's proposal has not been given a higher priority by the mayor's office.
"I find it hard to criticize a plan that might not be the plan that the administration eventually approves of," said Councilman Randal Valenciano.
"I'm willing to give you a reasonable amount of time, but a reasonable amount of time is not forever," Councilman Kaipo Asing told Fraley.