Mayor Kenoi Supports Withdrawal of Spigot Bill

Councilman Enriques to convene task on free water issues…
From the Mayor’s Office:

Mayor Billy Kenoi is supporting a request to withdraw the administration’s proposal to regulate the use of public County water spigots on Friday’s Hawai‘i County Council agenda.

The administration submitted Bill 189 to prevent abuse of the free water provided by the County at 15 public spigots located around the island.

The County provides the water for personal, non-commercial use. Residents are encouraged to limit their use to 50 gallons per person per day for personal, non-commercial use, but currently no restrictions apply to the intended use or amount of water that an individual may take from the spigots.

The County has received reports of people taking amounts far in excess of 50 gallons and using the free water for agricultural and commercial purposes. The County pays for the water that is provided free at the spigots.

Bill 189 was intended to prevent abuse of the free public water in fairness to all residents of the County. But concerns raised in a January 14, 2010 letter from 6th District Councilman Guy Enriques prompted Mayor Kenoi to support the request that the Bill be postponed for further review.

Councilman Enriques asked Council Chairman J Yoshimoto on January 14, 2010 to postpone discussion of the Bill on the Council’s Friday, January 22 agenda, based on “heavy public response after the presentation at the Finance Committee on January 5,

2010, (which) brought forward many questions about the rights, costs and accessibility of water.”

“Furthermore,” Enriques wrote, “Bill 189 comes at an inappropriate time with the current drought coupled with the economic downturn dramatically increasing the spigot use in every district.”

Kenoi responded to Enriques in a letter delivered today.

“Having heard from your constituents in Council District 6, who are the largest consumers of water from public spigots in the County, I respect your concerns,” Kenoi wrote. Mayor Kenoi concurred with Enriques’ request, “provided that (Enriques) convene a task force involving residents, stakeholders and the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense to explore a fair and equitable management solution for our County spigots.

“I appreciate Councilman Enriques’ understanding of his district’s residents and their concerns and accept his offer to convene a task force to look into the complex issues regarding the spigots before we move forward with this proposal,” Kenoi said.

“We should give our residents a better opportunity to present alternative ideas and solutions with the intent that a new bill will be submitted for the Council’s consideration following further review of the important issues involved.”

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