Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most recently asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Dear Mayor Arakawa,
Q: There is a dilapidated Dept. of Water Supply facility near my neighborhood in Wailuku, and there is a new access road and a 200-unit development being built that will bring many more drivers past this area. I’m sad to say the facility has a lot of trash, abandoned equipment and the Quonset hut badly needs a coat of paint. Do you know if there are funds available to fix up and clean up this area? It’s an area that many residents have to pass every day, and it sure would be nice if it was a little less of an eyesore.
A: The Quonset hut you’re referring to is a County Water department facility on leased, privately-owned land; it is intended to be phased out completely in the next few years. For now, our Water director says DWS staff will check on the trash and debris to determine if it is under the County’s jurisdiction, and if so, what kind of resources would be needed to clean it up.
Q: I see that the Airport Road is almost done, the road going past Target is open and Dairy Road is almost complete as well. All we need is for Hansen Road to be open again and it will be much easier for people in Kahului to get where they need to go. Any updates on how that’s going?
A: The Department of Public Works tells me the project is ahead of schedule. We were looking to reopen Hansen Road at the end of 2015 but now we’re looking at the end of October, barring any weather delays. This is great news, especially since the Hansen project actually involved three separate projects going on at the same time. There was the $4.5 million reconstruction of Hansen Road, for which we aggressively applied for and received federal funding that pays for 80 percent of the cost. Then there was a separate federal aid contract to widen and improve Kalialinui Bridge for $1.3 million (This is a small bridge located along Hansen Road). And finally we coordinated with the State Department of Transportation for the last quarter mile, because it is owned by the DOT. They have a baseyard located near the Hana Highway side of Hansen Road and we were able to coordinate with them so that the whole road will be improved at the end of the project. Much mahalo to State DOT for helping us out with this important project.
Aloha Mayor Arakawa,
Q: Mayor, I called your office recently to ask a question about the fair only to be directed to an outside fair office. I know that the Maui County Fair changed its name to the Maui Fair some time ago but I thought the name change was purely cosmetic. Are you telling me that Maui County doesn’t have anything to do with the fair anymore? Is that true and if so why?
A: Whether it’s called the Maui County Fair or the Maui Fair, the county will always be involved one way or another in putting on the best fair in the state. But for the exact history of the name change I’ve asked Maui Fair Alliance President Avery Chumbley to provide the following information – “Back in 2011 the fair was reorganized to ensure the perpetuation of this annual community event well into the future. The Maui Fair Alliance was formed as a 501-c-4 non-profit organization to organize and run the annual Fair. In 1989 after the Maui County Fair and Racing Association withdrew from organizing the event, the Maui County Fair Association took over that activity and organized the 67th Maui Fair in 1989 to the 88th Maui Fair in 2010 all held at the War Memorial Gym Complex. The annual fair continues to be held at the same location and this year will be the 93rd Maui Fair. The County of Maui has been a co-sponsor of the annual fair since its relocation in 1989 from the old Territorial Fair Grounds in central Kahului, in that co-sponsorship role the County provides support and assistance to the fair organizers from its Parks Departments but does not provide any financial support. The Maui Fair Alliance is proud to partner with the county in order to continue to bring this annual grassroots event to our community.”
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.