Water board defers
proposed rate hike

The board manager says there
is enough money for expected
expenses after all

Star-Bulletin staff

Water rates on Oahu will not be going up this year.

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply voted yesterday to defer a proposed rate increase, according to spokeswoman Denise De Costa.

Water board manager and chief engineer Clifford Jamile told the Star-Bulletin in February that the board would need about $280 million to meet growing demands, upgrade the system and replace 2,000 miles of water pipes.

"To fund these budgets, revenues from all current sources and a carry-over balance from prior years will allow us to again freeze rates at current levels, and still provide an adequate unappropriated fund balance," said Jamile, in a written statement yesterday.

The board also approved a $167 million budget for fiscal 2003, including an $80.3 million operating budget.

According to Jamile, the fiscal 2003 operating budget is 10.5 percent less than this year's because of a reduction of 24 full-time positions, materials, supplies and services and a drop in projected power costs.

About $44.1 million is slated for pipeline replacements that include waterline upgrading in Ala Moana, Wilhemina Rise, Nanakuli, Manoa, Aiea, Kaneohe, Kailua, Haleiwa, Kamehameha Heights, Wahiawa, Waipahu, Moanalua, Hawaii Kai, Kalihi, Waianae and other areas.

And the board will spend another $27.2 million for the Honouliuli Recycled Water Ammonia Treatment Facility, installation of a 24-inch water main along Farrington Highway on Leeward Oahu, the Waimanalo Well III facility and a 24-inch water main along Kapahulu Avenue.

Water rates have not increased since July 1995.

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