ASK THE MAYOR

The Maui News - - TODAY’S PEOPLE - ALAN ARAKAWA

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most asked ques­tions sub­mit­ted to his of­fice staff.

Q: When are we go­ing to fin­ish paving the rest of Omao­pio Road? This would be from the land­fill up to where it was paved a cou­ple years ago.

Q: I am con­cerned about Pulehu Road. It is in des­per­ate need of repaving in the mid-to-lower part, above the dump. Peo­ple are driv­ing over the cen­ter­line to avoid the mul­ti­tude of pot­holes. Also, the in­ter­sec­tion at the bot­tom of the road with Hansen is dan­ger­ous. It has very poor vis­abil­ity and is scary to cross. Are there any plans to fix any of these is­sues in the near fu­ture?

A: You’re both ask­ing ques­tions about the same road, as Omao­pio turns into Pulehu and vice versa. The De­part­ment of Pub­lic Works has re­quested funds as part of its fis­cal year 2019 bud­get to fix Omao­pio/Pulehu Road. If the County Coun­cil does not ap­prove those funds, the de­part­ment will con­tinue to do spot fixes on the road. How­ever, I am hope­ful that the funds will be ap­proved this year so we can be­gin the work.

Q: I was won­der­ing if it is il­le­gal for tow trucks to be driv­ing around with their lights flash­ing. Maui County seems to be the only place that this is hap­pen­ing. I thought the lights were to only be used when they are on the side of the road do­ing work. I have seen tourists see them com­ing and pull over to the side of the road think­ing it is an emer­gency ve­hi­cle. If it is in fact il­le­gal for them to be driv­ing around with flash­ing lights, why aren’t po­lice giv­ing them tick­ets? Semi-trucks carry much big­ger loads, un­less they’re over­sized loads, and do not use flash­ing lights.

A: I do know that only po­lice, fire, am­bu­lance and other emer­gency re­sponse ve­hi­cles can have red or blue flash­ing lights, and there are sev­eral laws on the books re­gard­ing their use. Yel­low lights are less reg­u­lated. To help me an­swer your ques­tion, I asked the Maui Po­lice De­part­ment about this. Here’s its re­sponse: “There is no Hawaii state law, county code or fed­eral mo­tor ve­hi­cle MVSS (Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle Safety Stan­dards) law re­gard­ing the use of an ac­ti­vated flash­ing am­ber and white lights while tow­ing the ve­hi­cle on the road­way. The only re­quire­ments are these: Tow trucks must be equipped with the re­quire­ment lamps and mark­ers, etc. There is noth­ing re­gard­ing the use of an ac­ti­vated flash­ing am­ber and white light while in tow op­er­a­tion.”

Q: My ques­tions are: 1. Is the county’s wa­ter sup­ply safe to drink? 2. Does the Upcountry cesspools af­fect the county’s wa­ter sup­ply? 3. If so, how does the wa­ter de­part­ment make our wa­ter safe to con­sume? 4. Wa­ter that is maybe con­tam­i­nated or doesn’t meet fed­eral stan­dards, is it treated at the wa­ter treat­ment plants at Ki­hei, La­haina, Kahu­lui? If so, how does the wa­ter Upcountry get treated?

A: First of all, all of the county wa­ter that we process is safe to drink and meets or ex­ceeds all state and fed­eral stan­dards. Upcountry cesspools have not af­fected our wells or sources. Also, you should note that Maui has a lot of sur­face wa­ter, and so there’s no way cesspools can af­fect those sur­face sources of

wa­ter at all. Here is a com­pre­hen­sive list for you.

Upcountry gets it wa­ter from three wa­ter sys­tems:

≤ Up­per Kula is mostly sur­face wa­ter from the Waikamoi rain­for­est.

≤ Lower Kula is a mix of sur­face wa­ter from the Wailoa Ditch, the Makawao rain­for­est and ground­wa­ter from Pookela Well.

≤ Makawao is also a mix of sources from sur­face wa­ter from the Pi­iholo treat­ment plant (Makawao rain­for­est) and ground­wa­ter wells at Haiku, Kau­pakalua and Pookela.

Cen­tral Maui gets wa­ter from Wailuku, Wai­hee and north Wai­hee and feeds that wa­ter to the Paia/Kuau area.

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 may­ors.of­fice@mauicounty.gov.

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