Wailuku, Maui – The following list of shelters has been confirmed by Maui County for the public’s use during Tropical Storm Darby. Tropical storm conditions are expected across Maui County between now and midnight Saturday:
East Maui – Hana High School
Upcountry Maui – Eddie Tam Memorial Center
South Maui – Lokelani Intermediate School
Central Maui – Maui High School
West Maui – Lahainaluna High School
Lanai – Lanai High
Molokai – Molokai High
Please note that these shelters are not equipped with amenities, and that residents seeking shelter need to bring their own food, water, medicine and other emergency supplies.
All shelters are scheduled to open at 7 p.m. today (Friday, July 22), except for Molokai and Lanai high schools. An opening time for those shelter locations has not been determined yet and will be announced later today.
Honolulu, HI – Senator Mazie K. Hirono announced that $800,000 awarded to the County of Maui from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is now available for the county’s use. The county originally received a competitive grant award last year to build ten shelters in high-impact locations in Kahului, Wailuku and Kihei. These shelters will be accessible for riders with disabilities.
“This funding is critical to improving the transportation infrastructure on Maui,” Hirono said. “These ten shelters will be placed in high-impact locations, helping address the growing ridership of Maui Bus. All Maui residents, especially riders with disabilities, deserve to wait safely and comfortably for public transportation.”
The grant will create four shelters in Kahului, four in Wailuku and two in Kihei. This competitive grant is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bus Livability Initiative to expand public transportation access nationwide.
“Ask the Mayor”
Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Q: If we ever have to go to a shelter because of a storm, will they have food and cots for us there?
A: No, you will need to arrive at the shelter prepared with your own supplies such as bedding, food and water, clothing, medications and other personal items. A shelter is just that – a place to take shelter, and is most often operated by volunteers at a government facility like a school, gym or other large, covered area. June marks the official start of hurricane season, which runs through November each year. To help your family members, neighbors and friends be better prepared for a hurricane – or any other disaster- it’s important to take some time to make an emergency plan, gather supplies and familiarize yourself with other ways you need to be prepared. For a list of shelters, tsunami maps, hurricane information, links and resources for children, visit www.mauicounty.gov/civildefense.
Q: What kinds of permits or special reviews are needed for older buildings?
A: Older buildings are significant to our community in that they remind us of the people and uses that were conducted in and around them over generations. If a structure is at least 50 years old, it could qualify for listing on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. As is often the case, such structures have been altered or modified over the years to the extent that they have lost their historical integrity; however, those that have retained their historical significance can be eligible for historic preservation tax credits for restoration and preservation. Two recent projects that have benefited from these tax credits are the newly re-opened Ma`alaea General Store in Ma`alaea and the Fred Baldwin Memorial Home in Makawao. If the owner of a historic structure wants to demolish it, then certain mitigation is required by the State, following federal guidelines. This mitigation typically includes specific types of documentary photographs and architectural drawings. To get advice on any residential or commercial building permit, you can attend the next “Permitting Open House,” scheduled for Wednesday, June 26 from 1-3 p.m. in the Mayor’s Conference Room on the 9th floor of the County building. There you can meet one-on-one with representatives from the departments that sign off on County permits: Water, Fire, Planning, Public Works and Environmental Management. For more information, call 270-7855 and ask for the Capital Improvement Program Coordinator.
Q: Where can I get information on starting my own business?
A: The Maui County Business Resource Center (MCBRC) is a great place to start, and you can access information both online and in-person at the center, located at Maui Mall across from IHOP. The MCBRC is an extension project of the Office of Economic Development, and serves as a resource for new and existing business owners who need assistance and consultation. The Kuha‘o Business Resource Center, located in Kaunakakai, serves business owners on Molokai. To access online business research tools, browse business publications, obtain forms and applications for business licenses and download a handbook on starting a business in Maui County, visit www.mauicounty.gov/MCBRC. To view the calendar of workshops from the MCBRC webpage, click on “Training Opportunities.” You can call the MCBRC at 873-8247 for more information on services provided at the center.
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.
Maui County officials have promised to begin building proper benches and shelters this year to give bus riders a place to wait that’s protected from the sun, wind and rain.
Virtually none of Maui’s 169 bus stops has benches, the Maui News reported. Five bus stops are to be completed this year and 12 more in the next fiscal year, said Jim Oster, project manager and Transportation Department engineer. As South Maui riders know, a good samaratin has constructed and installed dozens of benches undere the cover of night – to provide a place of rest for bus riders.
Four more covered bus stops that cost at least $200,000 will be built by the end of the year and will be lighted and wheelchair accessible. They’ll feature bicycle racks, trash and recycling bins and curb cuts to make it safer for the bus to pull over in traffic.
Eight to 10 shelters are to be completed each year until 79 are done, said Transportation Director Jo Anne Johnson Winer. The shelters are to be made of reinforced steel screen mesh with palm fronds and other locally inspired designs. Solar panels on the metal roof will power the lights.
Federal authorizes recently noted the Maui Bus is one of the fastest-growing public transit systems in the country. More than 850,000 passengers rode the bus last year, and that figure is expected to soar to 2 million this year, according to the county.
Long, rural commutes and the cost of driving have contributed to an increase in bus ridership.
Oster said studies have shown that well-designed shelters can increase the number of passengers.
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