POSTED: 11:20 a.m. HST, Aug 26, 2010
Honolulu will be hiring a consultant to study ways the city can pay for nearly $5 billion in upgrades to its sewage and wastewater treatment systems.
The yearlong study will follow in the wake of a consent decree the city recently entered into with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The city has estimated the upgrades could require yearly 3 percent to 5 percent sewer fee increases for about 25 years.
Possible alternatives include abandoning rates that can vary depending on usage in favor of a fix monthly sewer fee. There could also be rate relief for fixed and low-income customers.
The consultant is expected to be chosen next month, with the study getting under way in October.