By Eloise Aguiar
Advertiser Windward Bureau
WAIMANALO Members of the Waimanalo Canoe Club had a unique idea to help sell the city on the idea of building a canoe halau: Paddlers and community residents would serve as volunteer labor, cutting the typical cost for such a project drastically.
So they were disappointed to learn last week that financing for their vision team project had lapsed after a contractor willing to work at cost on the project had missed the construction bid deadline.
However, the unique nature of the project may save it after all. The city has decided to try to save the halau, or boathouse, by adding the money to this years supplemental budget, said Carol Costa, head of the citys Customer Service Department. The financing must still be approved by the City Council.
With paddlers and residents serving as volunteer labor, the money would go only for material, skilled construction workers and a contractor, said Andrew Jamila Jr., a vision team member. The project was proposed in 1998 and was in the 2000 budget, which means it had to go out to bid by December.
The cost for other halau scheduled to be built without volunteer labor ranges from $650,000 to $868,000.
Two other contractors did submit timely bids for the halau, but both asked for more than $400,000. The city could not award those bids because the project was budgeted for $125,000.
Mike Anderson, the contractor who submitted the late bid, would have suffered financially if the city had accepted his offer, said his wife, Nazarene.
The cost and other factors would have jeopardized the company, she said. For instance, the city estimated that the materials alone would cost $230,000, Anderson said.
"So when we didnt get the bid, I said this is a godsend," she said.
But Anderson, a member of the canoe club, said she and her husband are willing to make the project happen and will continue to work with the city to build it.
Scotty Ruis-Moniz, head coach for the Waimanalo Canoe Club, concurred.
"Even though certain goals have been set back its not going to deter us from finishing what we started," Ruis-Moniz said.
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