Ask the Mayor: Why the Holdup on Maui Raceway Permits?
Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his office staff.
Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email at [email protected], call 270-7855 or send them by mail to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.
Aloha Mayor Arakawa,
Q: My family, along with many others, have been long-time members of one or more of the motorsports organizations that make use of the park. The oldest is Valley Isle Timing Association at 53 years, Maui Go Karters Association at 28 years, Maui RC Modelers 28 years, Maui Motocross Association 17 years, etc. I know that the county has these organizations designated in their long-range planning for the Maui Motorsports Park in their areas.
Each year, these organizations are forced to go through the tedious county process of getting their annual permits to use the facilities. Why is there such a holdup in getting them their respective long-term usage leases? They have been doing this for so many years, and leases would go a long way toward each getting funds donated for facility improvements and many other things.
These organizations work very hard with what they have, and their memberships do what they can. Each organization performs all the logistics, organization, insuring, operating, covering expenses, maintenance and repairs for their respective areas. They also supply their own electricity with generators for events, as there isn’t any power in the area. Only the drag strip has county water available.
So what can be done to get this process back on track, one which was started long ago and keeps falling through the cracks?
A: The Parks Department is working diligently with the Planning Department to finalize the Pu‘unēnē Master Plan Update. Once the master plan update has been finalized, we anticipate transmittal to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (owner of the property) and the Maui County Council to review, comment and approve it.
Once it is approved, the grant applications, together with the proposed leases, need to be approved by the Board of Land and Natural Resources and the Maui County Council.
The County does not own the property, hence, additional approvals are necessary.
We are proposing that an organization be created by the Maui Motorsports Park users to coordinate the race dates and manage the common areas, which is currently being done by the Parks Department. The current Parks permit process allows Valley Isle Timing Association to dictate their dates annually and subsequently the other users are allowed to schedule their dates. In the future, the race dates will be decided by the new user organization, which may give equal weight to all lessees.