Published in The Maui News, OCT 9, 2016
By MIKE WHITE
The Maui County Council is continuing its multifaceted, multicommittee work to make more housing available to Lanai, Maui and Molokai residents.
The council is processing multiple funding requests for housing-related projects by nonprofit organizations, including Habitat for Humanity’s Kahoma Project in West Maui and the Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center in Wailuku. In addition, the Family Life Center seeks funding for the acquisition, design and construction of affordable apartments on Lower Main Street in Wailuku.
Family Life Center is also seeking to manage emergency dormitory units in Kahului for homeless persons.
In addition, Ordinance 4359, which took effect last month, supports affordable housing by exempting developments composed of 100 percent residential workforce units from wastewater assessment fees. This legislation was recommended for passage by the Housing, Human Services and Transportation Committee, chaired by Council Member Stacy Crivello.
The Planning Committee appointed Committee Chair Don Couch and Council Members Gladys Baisa and Elle Cochran as a temporary investigatory group to make recommendations to increase the inventory of available housing in Maui County. The group’s report was presented to the committee Thursday, with deliberations to follow at a subsequent meeting.
Couch, Baisa and Cochran had discussions with administration personnel relating to the county’s role in providing or encouraging the development of housing inventory. The group also had discussions with planners, architects, builders, members of the building trades, affordable-housing advocates, community associations, landowners and members of the real estate and banking industries — all for the purpose of identifying housing solutions, barriers to increasing housing and what steps the county could take to facilitate the development of housing.
I look forward to deliberations on the group’s findings and policy suggestions.
In other news, the Infrastructure and Environmental Management Committee on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. will review a resolution granting a 20-year site lease to a California-based company called Anaergia for property at the Kahului-Wailuku Wastewater Reclamation Facility.
As stated in the resolution, submitted by the Arakawa administration, “The project consists of an anaerobic digester, which will convert energy crops and other alternatives into methane gas, which will be utilized in turbines to produce electrical energy to meet the power needs of the KWWRF.”
Submit testimony on the Anaergia project, referencing IEM-68, to email@example.com.
Finally, as Major League Baseball’s playoffs heat up, it’s worth noting what an amazing year this has been for youth baseball on Maui.
At Friday’s council meeting, Central East Maui Intermediate All-Stars were honored for winning this year’s world championship. In addition, the Central East Maui Senior All-Stars were recognized for winning the west regional, and the Maui Pony All-Stars were celebrated advancing to the championship game in the world series.
Last month, the Maui Big League All-Stars were honored for winning the U.S. championship, and the Central East Maui Major All-Stars were recognized for winning the state title.
* Mike White is chairman of the Maui County Council. He holds the council seat for the Paia-Haiku-Makawao residency area. “Chair’s 3 Minutes” is a weekly column to explain the latest news on county legislative matters. Go to mauicounty.us for more information.