Thursday, June 23, 2011

Musings: FERC & The Path

First, here’s a link to the piece I wrote about the fight over FERC for the current edition of Honolulu Weekly. I hope it will provide readers with an overview of this complicated issue. I’m not quite sure where they come up with the graphic for the proposed Wailua dam, which KIUC vows is not going to happen, but here is a link to the issue’s cover art.

Moving on to another topic….

To some, it sounded like a great idea, the concept of building a “lei” of concrete around the island and calling it the Path. But unlike a lei, which is put together as a continuous strand, the Path is being built in segments, prompting some of us to ask, and keep asking, what is the big picture here, what is the overall environmental and cultural impact, and how much is it going to cost, both to build and maintain, especially with coastal erosion on the increase?

But not even the County Council is getting that information in a timely fashion. That’s why last year it approved — with only Councilman Mel Rapozo dissenting — the $100,000 purchase of a strip of land fronting the Kapaa Sands condos, only to learn now that it will cost another $338,500 to relocate a propane tank and trash bins, erect a six-foot fence, extend the parking lot by two feet, and put in some landscaping and signs in that section of the Path.

The estimate seems padded, which apparently is why the administration is questioning some costs and the contractor reportedly is willing to negotiate.

Still, if one believes the account published in The Garden Island, which is always a gamble, something in the process has gone haywire, with public works claiming it’s a parks and rec thing and Council Chair Jay Furfaro saying “we’ve got an oversight problem.”

But didn’t the mayor hire Tommy Contrades to oversee all Capital Improvement Projects precisely to ensure they’re carried out in an efficient, cost-effective and timely manner, with one person providing accountability and oversight?

And when are the Council and administration going to come clean about what the county really is in for with The Path project? Recreation is grand, but just how much do taxpayers really want to spend so that tourists and eastsiders have a strip of concrete upon which to cruise?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Seawalls R us.

Anonymous said...

I am against a Path if it means we lose some of the natural & wild places that we so much love about Kauai. The path near Donkey Beach is an absolute mistake. It should have stayed wild and not become the jogging path for those multi-million dollar house lots.

Anonymous said...

Hydro yes, FERC no. KIUC should save themselves now by stopping the balloting & FERC process.

Anonymous said...

I will do all of those improvements for !00,000. I'll be done in 4 weeks.
Wow - We are getting FLEECED!
Someone please do a follow the money analysis.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, and can you move the trash bins too?"

"Sure. That will be another seventy five thousand dollars"

Casey said...

From what I've seen, the path is a success as it stands today. Largely paid for with federal dollars, it provides a nice space to exercise and attracts visitor spending to old Kapa'a town.
Each little expansion of the path brings these benefits to more people and grows its utility to those already on the path. That sounds to me like it is worth a bit of spending by the county.

Anonymous said...

If I had to choose where to spend recreation dollars, I'd abandon the ballfields that sit idle 98% of the time in favor of the mixed use path that is busy 365 days/year.

Anonymous said...

I vote for the path!
You want wild go to the Pholpines!!

Anonymous said...

And if you want developed, go to LA.