Access Recording of Zoom meeting held on Feb 23, 2022
7PM – 8:30PM Community Meeting should be of great interest to UpCountry residents. There will be several presentations followed by your questions sent to the Zoom Chat site. For more information about the meeting: 808-283-4376
Introducing our new Police – Chief John Pelletier
Problems with axis deer – Council Member Yuki Lei Sugimura
County Downhill Bicycle Ordnance – Council Member Michael Molina
Potential East Maui “County Water Authority” – Council Member Shane Sinenci
“Kona-Low” Storm Water problems + Communications to the residents – County Managing Director Sandy Baz + Emergency Management Director Herman Andaya
Safe Drinking Water - Dept. of Health Maui Director – Dr. Lorrin Pang
Kula Water Situation
Kula was hit particularly hard by the “Kona-Low” storm in early December. Water came rushing down some of the gullies and broke the Upper Kula water line. This resulted in many days of uncertainty for residents who were told that it was not safe to drink the water. The problem was compounded by inadequate, changing, and confusing information coming from the County on the pipeline’s status and the need to boil water because E. Coli was in the system.
After the December 5th Kona-low storm and the challenges residents faced with the broken water-line and the need to boil water, the KCA Board formed a Water Task Force to help the County and the Water Dept. find ways to communicate water quality situations more effectively, and to find long-term solutions that will prevent future breaks in this critical infrastructure.
The KCA Water Task Force sent a letter to the mayor’s office, the Water Dept., the State Dept. of Health, as well as to all our Council Members. It addressed the lack of communication regarding the status of contaminates, the changing necessity to boil water, and all the problems related to the “Kona Low”. Only Water Dept. Director Jeff Pearson sent a response.
Main KCA Water Task Force Concerns:
- The reasons that there was so much damage from the heavy rains. The waterways and gulches were able to handle this water, but certainly NOT the huge trees and debris that came with it
- The ancient design of our Upcountry system and what might be done to correct and improve it. We hope that simple replacement will not be the norm.
- How this system actually is designed and constructed (including maps and diagrams) would be beneficial to residents.
- Explanation as to reasons we use chloramines vs chlorine in our upper Kula pipeline system. If switch to chlorine took care of E. Coli, why isn’t it used all the time, as it is for the Piiholo Lower Kula System?
- The importance and status of HRS 46-11.5. (Regarding the responsibilities of landowners to clear gulches to allow the free flow of water,) What it says and relates to and the possibilities of this law, if actually enforced, might correct future problems and resulting damages due to neglect by landowners of gulches and other waterways. If we have this law on the books, it was obviously discussed extensively and was passed through the legislature.
- Discussion with Senator Lynn DeCoite to make her aware of our concerns, and the importance of reviewing and following up on the State law regarding waterways etc.
Axis deer are our most persistent and annoying feral animal, impacting gardens and crops and causing traffic concerns. The County is proposing to spend a large amount of money to begin addressing this issue. First steps are being taken to fence in the Kula Ag Park.
Kula Ag Park $2.8 million, fencing and control axis deer- feral animal
Big mahalo to Representative Kyle Yamashita, Senator Lynn DeCoite and State Legislators, for appropriating $2.8 million and Governor David Ige for releasing the funding for plans, design, construction and equipment for watershed protection and ungulate fencing for the Kula Agriculture Park. DLNR is working with Mayor to coordinate these improvements which will provide relief from axis deer devastation.
A night harvest by the Kula Hunting Club.
Downhill Bicycle Tours have been a nuisance and safety concern for upcountry residents for several decades. There's a feeling that new regulatory legislation will be needed to make this activity safer. KCA has made recommendations on how to better manage the downhill bike industry and the Council is drafting a revised bike ordinance.
An alternative bicycle ordinance might be a total prohibition on commercial bicycle tours because they seriously endanger traffic safety and the County has already settled financially with a person who suffered injuries during a bike tour. In response and to address resident concerns the commercial bike companies have recently proposed some measures to self-manage their industry.
Kula Community Association – 2021 Report - KCA Pres. Heather Mueller
Your KCA Board met regularly because Michael Williams facilitated KCA’s Board meetings via ZOOM, giving us the ability to include up to 500 participants. Because of this new outreach, we look forward to seeing you at our community-wide meeting at 7:00pm, this Wednesday, February 23, 2022.
An energized, faithful group called the “Pulehu Posse” has been cleaning Pulehu Road regularly; more posse volunteers are welcome.
Maui’s COVID pandemic has affected all of us, and Ipo Mossman from the Mayor’s office kept us informed.
Councilmember Yuki Lei Sugimura shared county issues and took our Kula input to the County Council, especially the devastating effects on our farms and households from the axis deer over-population. Hopefully, solutions will be developed.
KCA held a community-wide meeting on September 29 via Akaku and Facebook. It focused on three important topics: the challenges related to bicycle tours; Water Director Jeff Pearson presented information on water; and the over population of deer.
There will be a large solar electric PV development just below and across the road from the Kula Agriculture Park. The KCA Board met with the developer and discussed potential problems, particularly the danger of wildfires. We urged the developer to take all the necessary measures to limit the threat.
We let the Council know our community’s priorities for their upcoming budget sessions: deer control, waterline improvements, pull-outs for bicycles, and traffic at two intersections (Pulehu Rd and Hansen Rd, plus Omaopio Rd and Kula Hwy).
We have two new board members: Indie Brassingram and Barbara Fernandez We are looking for others who would like to serve on the KCA Board. (Contact me, if you would like to join the Board: Heather Mueller at 808-430-0120 or 808-446-3545.
Thank you for your KCA membership and purchase of the Kula Caps
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