Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Q: Just thought I'd drop you a line from Starbucks on Dairy Road, where I'm waiting for Tire Warehouse to replace the tire that was literally ripped apart on Hansen Road this afternoon. It stranded me in a cane field pullout and took hours before I could get my car towed for repair, where all of this will cost me around $300 to fix with a new tire, etc. I cannot believe Hansen Road isn't on the list to fix this year. What gives?
A: Sorry to hear about what happened. One of my staff members had a flat tire on Christmas Eve and had to change it in the rain so we are very sympathetic. The good news, however, is that Hansen Road is on the list of projects this year. I included that announcement in my recent State of the County address. Better yet, Hansen Road qualifies for federal aid, which means the federal government will pay for 80 percent of the project so we can rip apart the road and rebuild it from scratch. My hope is that the extra steps taken to completely rebuild the road will take it from one of Maui's worst to one of the best. It was a long process to apply for federal funding, which took several years. Now that funds have been approved, we expect to start reconstruction work by fall or winter of this year.
Q: It is my understanding that the police station was completed well under budget, however no solar power was incorporated in the building. Is there a good reason why this renewable energy option was not put into this facility?
A: It was not for a lack of trying, and we haven't given up yet. We installed the conduit for a ground-mounted photovoltaic system when the building was completed. However, it was rejected by Maui Electric Co. based on circuit loading. We reapplied to MECO under the latest rules seeking a 400-kilowatt system and expect a response n the next 45 days.
Q: The condition of Kokomo Road in Haiku is terrible. There are so many potholes and bumps that it makes your teeth rattle. When is this road going to be properly resurfaced?
* Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County-related questions to Mayor Alan Arakawa by email at askthemayor@ mauicounty.gov, by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., ninth floor, Wailuku 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the "Ask the Mayor" column; to request a personal response to a concern, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A: You know, between this question and the one about Hansen Road I'm beginning to think no one listened to this year's State of the County address. I'm kidding, of course, but in the address we did take the time to mention Kokomo and Hansen roads specifically as two roads that were going to have major facelifts sometime this year. That's because both roads qualified for federal funding, which means we can totally rehabilitate the roads and make them better than new. If you want to see a good example of a rehabilitated road, please drive to Haliimaile Road from Baldwin Avenue and notice the difference from what it looked and felt like before. Federal funds are a great tool and we must use them whenever we qualify for them.