Published in The Maui News August 31, 2014
By GLADYS C. BAISA, for The Maui News
Continuing an important theme of the 2013-2015 term, this week’s County Council agendas include consideration of two projects to increase the supply of affordable housing in Maui County.
On Wednesday at 10 a.m., the Land Use Committee, chaired by Council Vice Chairman Bob
Carroll, will conduct a site inspection on a 4-acre parcel near Kulamalu Town Center in Pukalani for the proposed Hale Mahaolu Ewalu affordable housing project for seniors.
According to current designs, the project is set to include 60 affordable units, with an additional unit for a resident manager, a senior center, an adult day care center and 83 parking stalls. The project is designed for residents 62 years and older with income equal or less than 60 percent of the average median income.
This year’s state Legislature appropriated $4 million for the project.
Following the inspection, the committee will continue deliberation in the Council Chambers in Wailuku at 1:30 p.m. Testimony will be accepted at both locations or may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, referencing LU-3 (3).
On Friday at 9 a.m., the council will consider Bill 55 (2014) on second and final reading, authorizing the expenditure of $400,000 for the Hale Lokelani Ohana Project on 2 acres in Waihee. The project, which is also supported by a $395,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is intended to provide housing to adults with developmental disabilities earning 80 percent or less of the area median income.
In other business, the Budget and Finance Committee, chaired by Council Member Mike White, will continue deliberation on Tuesday at 9 a.m. on three sites for a new county service center: land acquisition at Kehalani Village Center or Maui Business Park II (both include additional donated land), or a land and building acquisition from Maui Lani Partners.
Testimony may be emailed to email@example.com, referencing BF-106.
The lease for the existing county service center at the Maui Mall – home to the Division of Motor Vehicle and Licensing – expires at the end of 2016 (though there is an option to extend another year). In previous discussions, the committee questioned how the acquisition of property for a new service center in Wailuku or Kahului will impact the Kalana O Maui Campus Expansion Project in Wailuku.
The county paid more than $3 million to rent office space in fiscal year 2014. A new service center could mitigate rental costs.
This week’s agendas can be viewed online at mauicounty.gov/committees.
A hui hou.
* Gladys C. Baisa is chairwoman of the Maui County Council and holds the council’s Pukalani-Kula-Ulupalakua area residency seat. “Chair’s 3 Minutes” is a weekly column to explain the latest news on county legislative matters.
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