Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most recently asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Q: Can someone register a cat colony in a residential area? If so, what is the limit of cats and what (if any) can the neighbors do to prevent them from invading their property (yards, garages, vehicles, etc.)? I cannot see spending my hard-earned money to prevent a neighbor from being a responsible pet owner.
A: Yes, it is possible for an individual to voluntarily register with the Feline Foundation of Maui as a caretaker for a cat colony in a residential area. It is not illegal to maintain a colony on one’s own property; however, the animals should be contained on that property, not allowed to roam, and either spayed or neutered. If the cats do wander to a neighbor’s property, the neighbor may humanely trap and transport the cat(s) to the Maui Humane Society (MHS). As with many other neighborhood issues, however, it’s best if neighbors can attempt to work things out together before resorting to other tactics. While there is no “official” registry of cat colonies, there are approximately 300 known colonies of feral cats being monitored by volunteers on Maui. This means that it is essential that cat owners and caregivers make sure their cats aren’t reproducing and adding to the number of feral cats in our community. MHS further encourages people to keep their cats indoors, especially if they refuse to have the cats sterilized. For more information on responsible pet ownership and other animal control-related topics, visit the MHS website at www.mauihumanesociety.org.
Dear Mayor Arakawa:
Q: Why are they re-paving Mokulele Highway when it seemed to be in good driving condition before? There seem to be many other Maui roads that need resurfacing more than this one.
A: This is a State Dept. of Transportation (DOT) project that involves resurfacing Mokulele Highway from Kuihelani Highway to the vicinity of the Maui Humane Society near Mehameha Loop, to extend the life of the existing pavement. State DOT informed me that longitudinal cracking in the pavement showed that preventive maintenance was needed. Long cracks can lead to serious defects as water seepage and continual vehicle traffic breaks the asphalt into small chunks over large slab-sized sections of pavement, rather than in smaller-diameter potholes. To best protect the pavement from weathering, periodic resurfacing of the entire roadway is necessary. Construction is anticipated to be completed in June. To view a photo of the cracked roadway before construction began, visit www.mauicounty.gov/Mayor and click on the “Mayor’s Update” tab on the left.
Q: Why have we not built a desalination plant on Maui? The increase in the economic flow would most likely make up for the cost in a few years. Israel is so far ahead of us in that. So are several other countries. Water, water, everywhere….!
A: At first glance, it might appear that desalination could be a useful way to obtain a seemingly endless supply of fresh water. However, in speaking with our Water Director, it is clear that desal is not currently a viable option for Maui County for several reasons. There are environmental issues on how to dispose of the residual salt brine, and the process requires the use of a substantial amount of energy. These reasons make it difficult to justify, especially given the fact that Maui is actually blessed with an abundance of fresh water—the real issue is having adequate infrastructure to harvest it at the source and distribute it to residential areas.
Want to Ask the Mayor?
Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email: AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov, phone: 270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.