HONOLULU (KHON2) — Several House lawmakers voiced their concerns over funding for certain projects during the last day of the Legislative session.
“I’m disappointed that we chose to prioritize $33 million to improve the reflecting pool around the Capitol,” said Rep. Natalia Hussey-Burdick.
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The Legislature approved funding for planning, design and construction for rehabilitation of the reflecting pools around the Capitol. Critics said the project doesn’t reflect the community’s needs.
“That $33.5 milion that is going to fix those reflecting pools that really aren’t a priority for local working people,” said Even Weber, Our Hawaii Co-Founder and Managing Director. “That same amount of money, actually less than that, is what we asked for to fund clean elections.”
Despite the criticism, some lawmakers said it’s time and they can’t wait any longer to repair the Capitol reflecting pools.
“If you go into the basement, you see leaks throughout the basement and you go on the first floor, it’s leaking everywhere,” said Rep. Darius Kila, (D) Honokai Hale, Nanakuli, Maili.
The Capitol pools have had intensive leaks so the plan is to replace the flooring. The state said repairs on the Diamond Head side of the Capitol will begin on Monday, May 15 and end in late December.
Crews will be demolishing the top layer of concrete and re-lining the pool. Rep. Kila said, it a product of deferred maintenance and it’s not the only project racking up costs.
“10 years ago it would’ve been $30 million for roof repair at the Convention Center, now it’s $60 million. I’m sure if we did this 10 years ago it would not be $30 million, but if we wait another 10 years I’m sure it’ll exceed $50 million,” said Rep. Kila.
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Meanwhile, the state said repairs to the Capitol pool on the Ewa side will begin next year. The state is still discussing what will fill the pools in the future.