Questions raised about city's Waimea plans
By Will Hoover
Advertiser North Shore Writer
Honolulu yesterday inched forward in the process of deciding who will take over the permanent operation of Waimea Falls Park, which the city intends to purchase through condemnation for around $5 million.
City officials listened to questions from more than a dozen representatives of North Shore organizations and potential park vendors regarding the city's plans for the park. The city said it would respond to questions in writing.
Questions were raised about the city's repair requirements, financial support for the park's botanical gardens and what staffing level the city intends to maintain.
Scott Foster, representing the Stewards of Waimea, raised concerns about the status of the Waimea Falls Master Plan prepared a year ago by a city advisory committee. Foster, noting that the report is now referred to as a "proposed" master plan, said that plan was intended to be more than a guideline addition to the city's request for proposals.
"It denigrates the whole process to have it deemed an addition to be considered," said Foster.
Vendors have until April 16 to submit proposals; however, that deadline could be extended. Honolulu Corporation Counsel Greg Swartz promised interested vendors that they would be given time to "get their ducks in order. We are not wed to this schedule," he said.
According to the tentative schedule, the city will complete the evaluation process and make a decision by June 27.
So far Ray Greene, with Waimea Management LLC, who manages the park on a month-to-month basis, and Diana King, with the National Audubon Society, are the only people who have stated publicly that their organizations intend to submit bid proposals.