Maui News

More than 100 attend Kula meeting on water issues, axis deer and traffic safety

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Kula Community Association community meeting Wed., March 22, 2023. PC: Kula Community Association

More than 100 upcountry residents gathered for a community update Wednesday night, organized by the Kula Community Association.

Guests heard from the mayor, water director, and representatives of the State Department of Transportation Highways Division.

Mayor Richard Bissen. PC: Kula Community Association

Newly elected Mayor Richard Bissen explained efforts by the County to get a control over the axis deer invasion that has greatly impacted kitchen gardens, farmers and ranchers.


Audience participants raised questions to the mayor on issues such as fencing, sterilization, hunting, corralling, and developing a useful food supply.

Maui’s new water director John Stufflebean fielded many difficult questions regarding the long waits people have had on the Upcountry water meter list. Only four new water meters were issued last year, and there are about 1,300 still on the meter list, according to organization leaders.

“The director pinpointed the lack of available engineers for the slow progress in giving out new meter’s slow promise.  He hoped  that the problem could be solved by using consulting engineers instead of relying on the lack of county engineers,” organizers said in a post meeting recap.


The new well being drilled just above Makawao and the development of an East Maui Water Authority were identified as potential solutions to help in addressing droughts and a constant shortage of water in the area.

“Kula residents were pleased to hear that  the State Department of Transportation is now designing a new traffic signal at the intersection of Kula Highway and Ōmaʻopio Road,” according to organizers.  It is expected that construction of this traffic signal will take place during 2024, according to the KCA.

Outgoing KCA President Heather Mueller(Left)  and newly elected 2023 KCA President Bobbie Patnode (right). PC: Kula Community Association

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