City dumps sewage odor contractor

City dumps sewage odor contractor

For long suffering Aikahi residents, it's the smell of bad management.

A project to fix odor problems at the Kailua Wastewater Treatment Plan has been delayed by two years, prompting the city to fire the contractor.

"Literally for decades, this neighborhood has had to put up with very, very obnoxious odors with promises after promises after promises to have it fixed," said attorney Anthony Locricchio, a member of the Kailua Neighborhood Board.

Last month, Locricchio and his fellow Kailua board members voted unanimously to support the Windward Coalition's plans to sue the city. The community group wants to place the sewage treatment plan in the hands of a court-appointed master.

But the city said any legal action will only cause further delays.

"We apologize for the delay. If we can restart the project, we can get it done by the end of the year," said Mark Yonamine, acting director of the city Department of Design and Construction.

The smelly problem was supposed to be fixed by a $12 million odor abatement project but the contractor --- Civil Mechanical of Halawa -- had trouble meeting its deadlines, Yonamine said.

Civil Mechanical was supposed to build an improved ventilation system and install advanced filters but the company often couldn't get the right supplies or equipment to proceed.

"The way the city issues a contract is that the city is not getting the best company or people. They are simply getting the cheapest," Locricchio said.

"This contractor could not do the work and should not have been hired in the first place."

The project is two-thirds complete. The city said it will work with the contractor and its bonding company to finish the rest.

"We cannot totally eliminate the odor but with this project, a lot of it will diminish," Yonamine said.

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