HONOLULU — Gov. David Ige today outlined the reasons why the state submitted testimony opposing Hawaiian Electric Industries’ proposed merger with NextEra Energy Inc. as it currently stands.
WAILUKU – The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development announced today it has posted a Request for Proposals (RFP) to study the options available for a new electric utility model.
The $30,000 analysis is in response to the County’s concerns about the looming NextEra/Hawaiian Electric Industries merger before the Public Utilities Commission, and how it may affect area residents and businesses. The study will look at alternative forms of ownership and the alternative utility business models for Maui County’s electric utility company.
“We must look at our options, but to do that and have a constructive conversation about the matter we need more information,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa. “This study will provide us that information, and will tell us if it would be best to start our own utility, form a co-op as Kauai did, allow the NextEra deal to go through or some other option. We need to make an informed decision as a community.”
The RFP gives the company or firm with the winning proposal four months to provide a preliminary appraisal of the costs associated with purchasing the electric utility company in its entirety and also certain parts of the utility.
It also requests a preliminary assessment of the benefits associated with public power and energy cooperative forms of ownership. In addition, the RFP asks for a preliminary recommendation of the utility structure and ownership option that would best support the transformation of the island grids on Maui, Molokai, and Lanai into near 100 percent renewable energy smart grids and micro-grids.
The RFP is posted on the Maui County website at www.mauicounty.gov/RFP; scroll down to “Services and Non-Design Consultants.” The deadline to submit proposals is 4:00 p.m. on Friday, June 5, 2015.
For more details about the study, call the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development at 270-7710.
Wailuku – MEO’s Business Development Program graduated 18 students from the Core Four Business Planning course on April 21. Mayor Alan Arakawa participated in the graduation and encouraged the students to keep their commitments and never give up on their dreams. The students also heard words of encouragement and advice from Maui County Council Member Mike Victorino, who was in attendance.
At the graduation, the soon-to-be entrepreneurs were also able to work with bankers from Bank of Hawaii, First Hawaiian Bank and Central Pacific Bank and received suggestions on improving their business plans and what they can expect from commercial lenders. The graduating students received a Certificate of Achievement and a congratulatory dinner.
MEO BDC’s Core Four Business Planning is a 36-hour course on how to write a business plan while providing the information you need to know to start, operate and grow your business.
For those interested in learning more about the entrepreneurial training course you can call Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. at 249-2990. The next Core Four classes will be held during the day, from 9 am to noon starting May 5th. One hour introductory classes will be held on Tuesday, April 28 and Thursday, April 30th from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at MEO’s Family Center, and also at the Maui County Business Resource Center (Maui Mall) on Wednesday, April 29th from noon to 1 p.m. The six-week series will be held at MEO’s Family Center at 99 Mahalani Street in Wailuku.
Registration is required for the six-week series and can be done at the introductory classes or any weekday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at MEO’s Family Center. Funding from the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development helps to make the Core Four Business Planning Classes possible.
Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most recently asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Q: I read that a recent wastewater spill in Waiehu was blamed on a power outage. What I’m wondering is, don’t the plants have backup generators? And if the generator requires a manual turn-on that didn’t occur, was the overflow preventable if staff were available or a backup generator that should kick in when the power goes out?
A: Very good question. Ordinarily during MECO power outages, a transfer switch automatically takes power from the backup generator to prevent a disruption of service. A review of the spill report indicates there was a power surge just before the power went off, which then damaged the transfer switch and voltage regulator for the backup generator. Our Dept. of Environmental Management is in the process of replacing the damaged components.
Dear Mayor Arakawa:
Q: I recently bought a new refrigerator but the store wanted to charge me a lot to deliver the new fridge and haul away the old one. I ended up bringing the new fridge home in my truck, so how do I properly dispose of the old one?
A: Residents can drop off unwanted household appliances for free at Hammerhead Metals Recycling, ph. 280-8844; commercial businesses may drop off items containing Freon for a fee. Hammerhead is open Mon.-Thurs. from 8 a.m. – 3:45 p.m., Fridays from 8 a.m. – noon, and the first Saturday of each month from 8 a.m. – noon. The other option is to request a free County pickup through the Solid Waste Division of the Dept. of Environmental Management. Central, South Maui and West Maui residents may call 270-7452; Upcountry residents should call 572-3958. For both numbers, please leave a voicemail with your name and contact number. You will be contacted with an estimated pickup day. On the day before your scheduled pickup (not sooner), the appliance should be placed securely and safely at the curb with your house number visible on the appliance. You do not need to have a residential refuse account to request an appliance pickup, but please be aware that the County cannot pick up appliances from condominiums, apartment complexes or gated communities.
Q: I was wondering what’s going on here in Waiehu Terrace? The smell of the breeze is very unpleasant, and it smells like a farm (i.e. animal waste). It’s been like this since last January, and the smell is still really bad.
A: There may be some pigs being raised at a residence near the shoreline in Waiehu. That would explain the smell on the breeze, except when the tradewinds are light and Kona winds prevail. Since it’s possible the area is not zoned for Agricultural use, residents that are particularly bothered by a nuisance of that nature have the option of submitting a Request for Service (RFS) through the County website, to clarify whether this is a permitted use: www.mauicounty.gov/RFS.
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, 9thFloor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.
WAILUKU – Mayor Alan M. Arakawa today extended his condolences to the family of former Representative Mele Carroll upon learning of her passing early this morning.
“I was deeply saddened to hear of Mele’s passing,” Mayor Arakawa said. “She has been a tremendous friend for several decades now, having worked with her on the Council, on the Legislature, and especially as one of my Executive Assistants during my first mayoral term. She was a great advocate for the people of Maui County, and for the State of Hawaii. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with her family during this time of grief.”
Diana “Mele” Carroll passed away at 3:05 a.m. today on Maui – surrounded by her family. Carroll resigned her seat just 18 days ago – citing health reasons. She had battled cancer for years.
In Honolulu, Governor David Ige extended his condolences to the family of former Representative Carroll.
“Mele was an outstanding representative of her district, and we will remember the results she achieved and the Aloha spirit with which she conducted her work.”
WAILUKU – The County of Maui Department of Housing and Human Concern’s Volunteer Center invites local non-profit and government agencies to nominate their favorite Volunteer Heroes. The awards program will be featured as part of the Volunteer Center’s annual Celebration of Service during National Volunteer Week, April 12-18, 2015.
The purpose of the Volunteer Hero Program is to recognize volunteers for their outstanding community service and giving back to help others.
“This awards program is a wonderful opportunity for your organization to say ‘Mahalo’ to that special person who gives so freely of their time,” said Volunteer Center Coordinator Wendy Stebbins.
Volunteer Heroes will be recognized on Thursday, April 16, 2015 by Mayor Alan Arakawa at a Celebration of Service. All Volunteer Heroes will receive a certificate of appreciation, lei and a recognition token from the County of Maui Volunteer Center.
Nominations may be submitted by non-profit or government agencies; only one application per organization is allowed.
Applications can be found online at www.mauicounty.gov/VolunteerCenter; under the “Agency” tab, click on “Volunteer Hero Program.” Deadline to submit an application is Friday, Feb. 20.
For more information on volunteering in Maui County, visit www.handsonmaui.com. You can also contact Wendy Stebbins, Volunteer Center Coordinator, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 270-7150.
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