A more elevated view
Funny thing how climbing the county building from the eighth to the ninth floor changes the view so much.
Mayor Alan Arakawa has an excellent summary in The Maui News about “Now is the time to fix the water system.” As this blog noted in February, we should welcome water rate increases, because the time to have begun fixing what ails the Department of Water Supply is not now but years and decades ago.
For all that time, the County Council wouldn’t raise rates to levels sufficient to maintain the system. And Mayor Alan Arakawa was no different from the rest of the council in that respect.
Now he has got religion, and a good thing, too. It also appears that at least some other members of the council are coming around to the understanding that the water system doesn’t repair itself.
Right now, I get all the water I can use delivered to my house for less than the cost of a can of soda each day, so even a doubling of water rates isn’t going to break the banks of any but the destitute.
It may help, too, that the department has moved to monthly billing. We’ll have to write twice as many checks but for half as much each, which should ease the sticker shock.
For a generation at least, Maui County has had the lowest water rates in the state. It is not something to be proud of.