Mayor, staff meet with KCA, present possible alternatives

June 18, 2011
By MELISSA TANJI – Staff Writer ( , The Maui News


Four monkeypod trees in Kihei that tree lovers and community members want to save from Maui County plans to cut them down are safe – at least for now.

The fate of the trees fronting the Maui Schooner Resort, as well as the fate of other monkeypod trees along South Kihei Road, appears to be in the community’s hands.

At a meeting this week between Mayor Alan Arakawa, his staff and the Kihei Community Association leadership, Arakawa was expected to discuss what was going to be done with the four monkeypod trees the county initially planned to cut down. The trees were seen as a hazard because their roots had pushed up the sidewalk in several places fronting the Maui Schooner as well as in a nearby parking lot.

But Arakawa offered the residents options they could consider for the trees and told the community association Monday that the county was planning to proceed with a 10-year-old Public Works road-improvement project to address flooding in South Maui. The flood-control project also could lead to the removal of monkeypod trees.

In a news release, Arakawa said the community has the option of leaving the trees in place, but that would mean no flood mitigation work would be done in the area.

“We wanted to present all the options to the KCA so that they could go back to the community and gather opinions,” Arakawa said. “We want to do what is best for that area.”

The association also is forming a committee to decide how best to beautify the area, including planting new trees.

Read the rest of the story at  The Maui News
Photo Credit Mathew Thayer