Public comment sought on water rate hikes

A meeting to hear public comment on proposed water rate and fee hikes in the upcoming fiscal year budget will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday before the Maui County Council’s Budget and Finance Committee in the Council Chambers, 200 S. High St. in Wailuku.

A revised water meter fee proposal by Mayor Alan Arakawa’s administration proposes to increase the fee for a new 5/8-inch water meter to $14,060, which is $2,000 higher than the current fiscal year fee.

In addition, Arakawa’s proposal calls for general water consumers with a 5/8th-inch meter who use 5,000 gallons or less per month to pay 10 cents more per 1,000 gallons, from $1.80 to $1.90 per 1,000 gallons. Agricultural customers using 15,001 gallons or more per month would have their rates increased by 5 cents, from $1.15 to $1.20 per 1,000 gallons.

Water Supply Director Dave Taylor previously told committee members that the increases to the water meter fees were intended to recover some of the costs of developing new water sources.

“To accommodate the public who cannot attend our daytime deliberations, a pau hana meeting will enable residents to participate,” said Budget and Finance Committee Chairman Mike White.

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