Attainable housing units, infrastructure improvements among projects in 2020
Congratulations to new County Council Chairwoman Alice Lee. I’m encouraged to see her commitment to a collaborative style of leadership, and I look forward to working with all County Council members on shared goals and priorities in this new year.
Chairwoman Lee and I are committed to addressing Maui County’s urgent need for thousands of attainable housing units. We are looking ahead to progress on several projects, including the Waikapu Country Town (1,433 units) and three West Maui projects — Pulelehua (1,000 units), Keawe Street Apartments (200 units) and Kaiaulu O Kupuohi (89 units). Work is expected to move ahead with the renovation of former University of Maui College dorms in Kahului for low-income housing (12 units initially, with plans for 50 more).
Project plans for the Waikapu project call for wastewater treatment in an expandable, modular wastewater treatment plant. Recycled water will be used for agricultural and landscaping irrigation, and I’m eager to see wastewater diverted to Waikapu to reduce reliance on the Kahului treatment plant.
In West Maui, negotiations are ongoing for the county to acquire a 4 million-gallon Maui Land & Pineapple water reservoir north and mauka of the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility. The reservoir is a key piece of a $13.5 million project to reduce reliance on the Lahaina injection wells. Recycled water will be pumped up to the 300-foot-elevation reservoir and increase the county’s ability to deliver recycled water in the Kaanapali resort by more than 1 million gallons per day.
In Central Maui, work will begin this month on much-needed infrastructure improvements on Church and Vineyard streets in Wailuku. The project includes new water and sewer lines, improved drainage, new sidewalks and the placement of power and telephone lines underground. Parking lot resurfacing will begin next month at the War Memorial and Maehara stadiums. I thank our residents in advance for their patience as we work on these projects.
On Molokai, a new baseyard and building for the Department of Public Works are nearing completion, and fencing improvements have been done at the Little League field in Kaunakakai. On Lanai, a commercial kitchen will be installed this year in the Lanai Community Center, and work will begin on a field house including a batting cage at a park near the Lanai Elementary and High School.
In February, tenants will begin moving in to the 81-unit Kahului Lani senior housing project. This is conveniently located in Kahului near the future Maui County transportation hub, estimated to cost $3.5 million. Construction work on the bus project is expected to begin in the second half of this year.
I’m looking forward to the start of construction on the second phase of the Kahului senior rental project, a six-story building with 83 units and a two-story multipurpose building.
In another priority area, my administration will continue work to assess our vulnerabilities to climate change and rising sea levels. We are working with the County Council to hire special counsel to represent Maui County in litigation against fossil fuel companies. For decades, they’ve known air pollution from their products would cause sea levels to rise.
Another development this year will be the first floor of the new Maui County Service Center, which is expected to be operational by the end of this year at the Maui Business Park II in Kahului. The center will open with the Department of Finance’s Division of Motor Vehicles, Real Property Tax Division and Treasury. Additional space will be available for various departments. Savings in annual rental fees for moving from the Maui Mall alone will be around $612,000.
Motorists can expect more work on the repair and maintenance of county roadways. The Department of Public Works is near completion of the first phase of road pavement reconstruction work on Kaupakalua Road, and the department will begin the second phase this year. The Department of Environmental Management will launch an expansion of the Central Maui Landfill.
There’s much to look ahead to this year as my administration continues to provide excellence in customer service. Aloha!
* “Our County,” a column from Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino, discusses county issues and activities of county government. The column usually appears on the first and third Saturdays of the month.