HONOLULU - A Honolulu city council committee sided with the Blood Bank of Hawaii on Tuesday against Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation's request to condemn part of the blood bank headquarters in Kalihi.
HART needs to expand Dillingham Boulevard and that means biting in to part of the blood bank's property. Construction is slated for June.

"We're not talking about cutting into the building but a strip of land running along side the building in order to widen the road," said HART director Dan Grabauskas.

HART offered the blood bank roughly $429,000 in compensation. But blood bank officials are asking HART to buy the entire property, claiming noise, dust and traffic will jeopardize the safety of the handling of blood.

"Acoustic and traffic access to vehicles emergency vehicles that have to come and pick up the blood. Our blood mobile because half the blood supply is collected on mobile blood drives," said Dr. Kim-Anh Nguyen, Pres. Blood Bank of Hawaii

Blood bank officials said to properly store blood at the facility, safety regulations are vital.

"Without a reliable blood supply there would be no trauma center, there would be no transplant program, there would be no cancer treatment program. It's that reliability that's critical," said Dr. Nguyen.

HART said if negotiations aren't reached between the two parties they may have to delay construction which can cost tax payers up to $90,000 a day.

"We're already at risk if things took as long as they could take to gain access and control of the location," said said Grabauskas.

Councilman Ernie Martin asked HART officials why they refuse to pay for the total cost of the property to avoid delay costs, given the critical nature of the facility.

A budget hearing to discuss the city acquiring the property is set for Wednesday morning.