$44M for water plan proposed

Arakawa budget targets infrastructure projects
By ILIMA LOOMIS – Staff Writer (iloomis@mauinews.com)
WAILUKU – The county would budget nearly $44 million on water infrastructure projects, an increase of more than $20 million from current spending, under Mayor Alan Arakawa’s proposal for 2012.

Department of Water Supply Director Dave Taylor told council Budget and Finance Committee members Thursday that he knew the plan was ambitious, but the projects being proposed were considered his department’s highest priorities. He pledged to bring to the water department the same system for planning and managing capital improvement projects that he used as wastewater chief to get that division’s infrastructure work on track.

He said his department could be turned into a “machine” to churn out capital improvement projects.

“I don’t know if I’m going to catch up this year, but I have no doubt if we have this conversation two years from now, you’re going to say, ‘Wow. You’re a CIP machine.’ “

Council members expressed some confidence in Taylor based on his record of handling sewer projects for the county. But they remained daunted by the sheer amount of money being requested for water infrastructure and doubted the department’s ability to complete all the projects.