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Saturday, May 13, 2000

City & County of Honolulu

Rusting poles
force long, dark
wait in West Loch

The city removes 60 light poles
in the area after one falls; most
new poles are at least
four months off

By Gordon Y.K. Pang


Rusting ornamental light poles in the West Loch Estates and West Loch Fairways subdivisions will require more than $2 million to replace.

A last-minute appropriation of $1 million, to replace the most severely rusted fixtures, was approved for next year's capital improvements budget by the City Council's Budget Committee yesterday.

One of the poles fell down in West Loch Estates several weeks ago. That prompted the city to inspect all 434 poles in the two subdivisions.

Last week, 60 of the worst poles were removed, leaving only their bases. But because only 10 replacement poles are on hand, area residents will have to wait at least four months to see the other 50 replaced.

City Managing Director Ben Lee said the problem stems from the fact that the poles were not galvanized. The new poles will be, he said.

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
At the corner of Anae Place and Kaihuopalaai Street in
West Loch Estates, one of the area's badly rusted wrought-
iron streetlights has been removed from its base.
The pole next to it was left standing.

Some of the residents in the two subdivisions are frustrated with the situation.

"It's been very annoying, especially when we learned that (the city) hadn't taken into account that the poles would rust being that we're so close to the water here," said West Loch Estates resident Jonathan Durrett.

"There are streets that have no street lights because they've taken poles down," said Caroline Bell, managing agent for the West Loch Estates Homeowners Association.

Bell said the city has known about the situation since the early 1990s and should have acted sooner.

Bill Foster, president of the West Loch Fairways subdivision, said the problem isn't as bad where he lives right now but that he is also worried.

"Right now, it's a major problem at West Loch Estates, it affects the health and safety of the people there and it needs to be corrected," Foster said.

"What we see here at West Loch Fairways is an accident waiting to happen. We need to have some action taken before it becomes a problem."

City officials said they expect to budget another $1 million in fiscal 2002 to replace poles not changed in the coming year.

Overall, the Budget Committee moved out a $300 million capital improvements budget, up from the original $267 million submitted by Mayor Jeremy Harris earlier this year.

The operating budget is now $1.014 billion, down from the $1.022 billion originally submitted.

City & County of Honolulu

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