Pi‘iholo Ranch Agrees to Partner with County to Remove Trees

January 31, 2018, 7:06 AM HST · Updated January 31, 7:06 AM
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The Maui County Council’s Budget and Finance Committee on Tuesday recommended passage of a bill to fund the removal of eucalyptus trees in the county-owned right of way on Piʻiholo Road, Upcountry, Maui.

Upper Piiholo 1/3/15 – File Image: Jamee Taksony Jones‎

The committee reviewed two options from the department of public works. The first proposed funding the cost to cut, haul, and dispose of 60 trees within the county right of way.

The second option would fund cutting the same 60 trees, plus 300 trees on Piiholo Ranch property determined to pose similar risks of falling onto Piiholo Road. Under the second option, the county would be authorized to leave on the ranch’s property all 360 of the cut trees, without having to incur the considerable cost of hauling them away.

With cost and liability concerns on the table, the committee voted to recommend the first option.

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Following the meeting, Piiholo Ranch representatives verbally agreed to move forward with the second option through a cost sharing partnership with the county.

“Public safety is of utmost concern,” said Councilmember Riki Hokama, who chairs the committee. “I appreciate the cooperation of Piiholo Ranch in working with the county to address the removal of the hazardous trees in a cost-effective and responsible way.”

The funding measure is slated to be heard by the council on the first of two required readings on Feb. 16.

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