Laie sewage facility to come under city’s control
The city will take over operation of the privately built sewage system now serving 400 Laie homes and businesses, officials announced yesterday.
The city will assume ownership of the Laie Water Reclamation Facility, built by Hawaii Reserves Inc. for $20 million; the deal will require City Council approval.
The treatment plant located in foothills behind Brigham Young University-Hawaii provides tertiary treatment, a higher level than most other city facilities, producing water that is used for irrigation on the campus, the nearby Polynesian Cultural Center and area agriculture.
The cost to the city will be more than $13 million. That is not a sale price, said Deputy Corporation Counsel Carrie Okinaga. It includes money the city has already paid for construction of sewer lines and hookups for homes and businesses. "The city has been putting money into it under the agreement reached in 2000," she said.
The project will continue with extension of the collection system until it includes Laie Point and shoreline areas. When completed, it will serve 600 homes and businesses, according to a city news release.
Mayor Mufi Hannemann, in the written statement, said the agreement comes after more than 10 years of negotiations and partnership with Hawaii Reserves Inc., a corporation that manages property connected with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including about 6,000 acres in the North Shore community.
A private sewage plant was originally built in the 1980s to serve the BYUH campus and Polynesian Cultural Center, said R. Eric Beaver, Hawaii Reserves president and chief executive officer. It was expanded in 1997 to the tertiary treatment facility. Construction costs to the corporation have topped $31 million, he said, and "there were a lot more costs over years of operation."
"We are happy to be going out of the waste-water treatment business," Beaver said.
The rest of the North Shore and most of Windward Oahu between Kahaluu and Laie are still served by cesspools.