The Kihei Community Association (KCA) announced recently that the County of Maui has accepted the KCA Street Tree Committee's recommendation that the four monkey pod trees on South Kihei Road should not be removed at this time.
The county will minimize impact to the trees as workers begin to replace the sidewalk that was removed over a year ago.
"We are pleased that the county has listened to the citizens of Kihei and found a way to keep the trees," said KCA President Jon Miller. "It shows an open and concerned county administration."
Monkey Pod Trees Escape Axe
The sidewalk adjacent to the trees was removed last year when the county received reports of dangerously raised concrete. The initial plan was to remove the trees in anticipation of future road and storm drain improvements in the area.
At the suggestion of Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa, the KCA Street Tree Committee was formed to help coordinate the resolution of this issue and plan for future tree plantings in the area.
David Goode, director of the county Department of Public Works, briefed the Tree Committee on the current plan for improvements in the area and outlined a sequence of events over the next six years. His plan included a new study of projected traffic in South Maui, quantification of needed improvements, development of a plan for South Kihei Road, the addition of that South Kihei Road Traffic Master Plan to the state's transportation plan, and finally, funding for the project.
In short, the long-term nature of the plan did not include justification for the immediate removal or ultimate cost savings gained by their removal.
The Tree Committee recommended and the KCA Board endorsed keeping the trees at this time and replacing the sidewalk in such a way as to minimize the impact on the roots.
"We want to thank Director of Public Works David Goode, Executive Assistant John Buck of the Mayor's Office and Executive Assistant Susan Clements from South Maui Councilmember Don Couch's office for taking the time to reach this solution," Miller said. "We look forward to working with all of them on future issues facing South Maui."
For more information, contact the KCA via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.