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Hawaii News

Weekly digest of what’s happening on Maui

  • BRYAN BERKOWITZ / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER
                                Condominiums seen along the beach in Maalaea, Maui, on March 17.

    BRYAN BERKOWITZ / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER

    Condominiums seen along the beach in Maalaea, Maui, on March 17.

More outdoor spaces open for recreation

Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area and Makena State Park — except for Puu o Lai (commonly known as Little Beach) — are the latest state parks to open for daytime recreation use.

Although beach use at the popular Makena park is permitted, day-use facilities will remain closed and gates locked. Day-use facilities at the scenic Upcountry site also will remain closed, but gates will be open for parking access.

In addition to Puu o Lai, other sites that remain closed are Halekii-Pihana Heiau and Iao Valley state monuments in Wailuku and Kaumahina, Wailua and Puaa Kaa state waysides along Hana Highway.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of State Parks reminds the public to observe social distancing even when outdoors and to keep moving, avoiding gatherings of any sort. Parties, picnics, setting up on the beach and camping are still not allowed. Check out the latest on state park openings at dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp.

Kahului’s Kokua Pool to undergo major repairs

Kokua Pool at the Kahului Community Park complex will be closed starting May 18 to accommodate months of major improvements. Aquatic Solutions Hawaii LLC is the contractor for the $363,000 project, with completion expected by Dec. 29, according to the Department of Parks and Recreation. The work includes replastering the swimming pool and concrete repairs of the pool deck and pool shell.

Real estate market feeling ill effects of pandemic

Maui’s real estate market took a hit in April from the COVID-19 pandemic. There were 87 condo sales last month — a 37% plunge from the 138 units sold in 2019 — but the median sales price rose to $602,494, a 35.6% increase from the year before, according to the monthly report by the Realtors Association of Maui.

There were 84 single-family home sales last month, up 7.7% from the 78 last year, while the median sales price dropped nearly 8% to $754,523.

The median price is the point at which half the sales were at a higher price and half were lower.

Both types of properties are spending far longer on the market, the report said. For single-family homes that was 155 days in April, up 33.6% from the 116 days in 2019. For condos, 194 days versus 131 in 2019, an increase of 48%. New listings were down 42% for single-family homes and 24% for condominiums.

Starting Monday it’s OK to shop, but don’t drop

Maui County is allowing retail stores and mall shops closed by stay-at-home orders to start reopening Monday as long as social distancing measures are in place.

Recommendations include thorough cleaning and sanitizing practices, capacity limits, appointment-only and delivery/pickup services and no person-to-person contact. Additionally, face coverings should be worn by all employees and customers.

But it’s not quite business as usual at shopping malls: Food court dining areas will remain closed except for delivery or takeout, as will play, arcade and entertainment areas; common areas (except to come and go from stores); hair, beauty and nail salons; and theaters.

STAY INFORMED

The Maui County Council will convene Friday to take up county tax rates. Follow the sessions at primetime.bluejeans.com/a2m/live-event/gcqgczrs or watch live on Akaku Channel 53 and mauicounty.us/agendas. To provide oral testimony by phone or video conference, call 408-740-7256 or 888-240-2560 and enter meeting ID 131939029 and passcode 1658. For more information on testifying by videoconference, visit mauicounty.us/how-to-testify.

>> Fuel tax: A public hearing will start at 9 a.m. on proposed county fuel taxes per gallon for gasoline/diesel, $0.24; for biodiesel (B100), $0.00; biodiesel blend, $0.06; and for ethanol, methanol and liquid petroleum gas, $0.115.

>> Motor vehicle weight tax: A public hearing will start at 10 a.m. on a proposal for no changes to motor vehicle weight tax rates per pound of net weight. Current rates are $0.035 for passenger vehicles, trucks and noncommercial vehicles not exceeding 6,500 pounds and $0.0535 for other vehicles. The $12 minimum tax, $8 penalty for delinquent tax and $20 for other vehicles also would not change.

>> Real property tax: The Council convenes at 11 a.m. to fix real property tax rates per $1,000 of net taxable assessed valuation, to go into effect July 1. Rates for owner-occupied classification would be $2.51 for Tier 1 (up to $800,000), $2.56 for Tier 2 ($800,000-$1.5 million), $2.61 for Tier 3 (more than $1.5 million). For non-owner- occupied, $5.45 for Tier 1, $6.05 Tier 2, $6.90 Tier 3; for apartment, $5.55; for commercial, $6.29 all tiers; for industrial, $7.20; for agriculture, $5.94; for conservation, $6.43; for hotel/resort, $10.70; for timeshare, $14.40; for short-term rental, $11.08 all tiers; for commercialized residential, $4.40.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

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