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Ask The Mayor

Mayor Michael Victorino answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Q: I noticed fewer trash cans and working water fountains at parks this year. Why is this?

A: Thank you for taking an interest in our parks facilities, and this may be a case of which parks you’ve been to recently. Our Department of Parks and Recreation staff reported to my office that West District has a few less trash cans and two less water fountains due to misuse and vandalism. The department has since ordered replacement trash cans and is reviewing the issue with the fountains.

Aside from West District, we have maintained the same amount of trash cans and water fountains across Maui County as in years past. Central District added trash cans to Central Maui Regional Sports Complex, Maui Lani Park and Kehalani Mauka. South District added a water fountain and additional trash cans due to increased rubbish from last year.

Mahalo for your time and question, and I strongly encourage our residents and visitors to take ownership of our parks facilities. For more information, visit the Department of Parks and Recreation webpage at www.mauicounty.gov/119/Parks-Recreation.

Q: Can the county apply for FEMA funding to aid homeowners in building storm shelters?

A: Mahalo for your question. Unfortunately, there is no FEMA grant program to assist individual homeowners in retrofitting their homes or building safe rooms. There was a similar program through the state about 10 years ago, however, that program does not exist anymore.

Nevertheless, there may be a financial incentive to building a safe room or retrofitting your home to withstand a hurricane through reduced insurance premiums. The homeowner would have to follow up with their insurance company to determine if their construction project is eligible for these insurance reductions. For guidelines on retrofitting your home for hurricane preparedness, please see the “Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards – Third Edition” prepared by the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program at seagrant.soest.hawaii.edu/homeowners-handbook-to-prepare-for-natural-hazards/.

Q: I would like to know when the Hawaiian Hale in Iao Valley will be fixed?

A: I asked my staff to check into this issue and they found that a community group received grant funds in the fiscal year 2019 budget to repair the Hawaiian Hale at Kepaniwai. Unfortunately, the group was unable to execute the grant and requested that the Department of Parks and Recreation proceed with the project. The department is now in the process of assessing the required work for the project and will be obtaining the necessary procurement and permitting for the needed repairs.

* Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Michael Victorino 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 mayors.office@mauicounty.gov.