KULA – Mayor-elect Alan Arakawa said Wednesday that the county had “more than adequate water supply” and that he hoped to begin issuing water meters to people on the Upcountry meter list within a few months of taking office.
Arakawa also said he planned to address what he thought were inequities in county regulations that required landowners applying for water meters to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on infrastructure or risk losing their place in line.
The incoming mayor was speaking at a meeting of the Kula Community Association, where he had been asked to speak on water concerns.
“Our administration intends to deal with the water issue head-on,” Arakawa said.
He said there was no question that enough water was available to meet Upcountry’s demands; the only question was how costly it would be and how long it would take to distribute it to the community.
He noted that the county’s Kamole Weir Water Treatment Facility, which was upgraded during his previous administration, now has a sustainable capacity of 6 million to 7 million gallons per day and is capable of treating up to 10 million gallons per day over short periods.
“We could cover all the Upcountry water meter requirements if we wanted to,” he said.
WAILUKU – Even after being threatened with a county citation, Maui Coffee Roasters owner Nicky “Beans” Matichyn refused to remove a window painting that announced what he was selling in his store.
“For me to put up ‘coffee’ was logical,” Matichyn said as he recalled a county inspector telling him to take the word “coffee” off his store window this past summer. He never did, and now that the Maui County Council has approved changes to the commercial signs ordinance, it appears that Matichyn’s window may remain.
Council members approved 7-0 amending the ordinance in a meeting Tuesday in the Council Chambers. The measure advances to the desk of Mayor Charmaine Tavares.
“I’m impressed and excited with what we accomplished,” said Doug Allen, the owner of Island Signs and a member of a subcommittee that provided suggested changes to county rules relating to commercial signs.
Both Allen and Matichyn expressed gratitude for a resolution that caused frustration among business owners who complained they were unfairly being targeted for illegal business signs this past summer.
‘Agricultural disaster’ aid available for Maui County
By CHRIS HAMILTON, Staff Writer
POSTED: December 11, 2009
WAILUKU – For the second straight year, Maui County farmers and ranchers could receive federal aid after the U.S. Department of Agriculture declared the county an "agricultural disaster zone" Thursday.
U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka announced the disaster zone, which also includes Hawaii County and Kalaupapa on Molokai. The drought is headed toward a fourth year, although rainfall has increased this fall and winter.
The Agriculture Department’s Weekly Crop Report for Hawaii noted that the state’s crops overall were in fair to good condition with pasture fields slowly improving and orchards doing fine. But Molokai remains under a mandatory 20 percent water reduction for all water consumers, except those on homesteads. The county also still asks residents in Central and South Maui to conserve water consumption voluntarily by 10 percent.