Kokua Line

Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Wednesday, February 3, 1999

BWS contractor will fix
damage linked to work

The Board of Water Supply has been trashing our neighborhood since August. The project covers only two blocks of Ilimano Street, but there seems to be no end in sight. They installed a fire hydrant in our front yard, even though there was one directly across the street. Our lawn is a mess, and restoring it will be a major project. We have had to hire a plumber twice to make repairs to our water line, which we believe was damaged because of the work being done. Steel plates have been placed over holes in the pavement. One jutted up four inches, blowing out our neighbor's tire. Talks with both contractor and BWS employees have been frustrating. Who do we contact to have our lawn repaired? Can we be reimbursed for the plumbing bills? What do we have to do to get the bumpy street repaved? Can the BWS avoid disrupting other neighborhoods for months on end in future projects? Is the BWS wasting taxpayers' money by installing about a dozen hydrants very close to existing ones?

Korl Construction Inc. was contracted to replace about 3,500 linear feet of an eight-inch water main and 11 fire hydrants in your neighborhood. Work began Aug. 3, 1998, and is to be completed at the end of October.

The contractor will repair all areas damaged or disturbed by its operations, said BWS manager/chief engineer Clifford Jamile. Similarly, if it was responsible for your plumbing bills, it will reimburse you for those costs, he said.

The road is bumpy because of a temporary patch over the water main trench areas. The road will be repaved and the patch removed when all work is completed, Jamile said. Work on the latest section began Jan. 20 and should be completed by this month's end, he said.

Improvement projects to replace aging and corroded water mains are scheduled throughout the island, sometimes taking a year to complete, he said.

They take time because water service and fire protection have to be available with the least disruption possible, he said.

Regarding the number of fire hydrants, Jamile said new hydrants are being installed to meet current fire protection standards -- 350 feet apart. When 11 new hydrants are installed, seven existing ones will be removed.

FYI: the new hydrants cost about $5,000 each and are part of the total project cost of $500,000, Jamile said. "Replacement of water mains, hydrants and other facilities is not paid for through county taxes but comes instead from water service revenues."


My father received a suspicious letter from the Wayne Seminoff Co. in Kirkland, Wash., saying it researches unclaimed and abandoned money. The letter even has information such as spouse's name and previous addresses. How do companies get such personal information? The letter says for a "contingency-based fee" it will help recover "abandoned monies" it has discovered. Can you please check the legitimacy of this company?

The Better Business Bureau of Hawaii said the company began business in 1978 and is a member of the BBB, which means it "has agreed to the Bureau's membership standards."

The BBB says the company has a satisfactory business record, i.e., properly handles matters referred to it, is free from "an unusual volume or pattern of complaints and (is) free of serious law enforcement actions involving its marketplace conduct."

The BBB records show no complaints over the past three years.

Also, information you think is private actually may be part of the public record, such as real property tax records, divorce records in most cases, voter registration information (excluding Social Security numbers) and criminal convictions.

Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Email to kokualine@starbulletin.com

E-mail to City Desk

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