Dredging funds released for Lahaina Harbor
LAHAINA – State Rep. Angus McKelvey last week announced that Gov. David Ige finally released the funds for the dredging of Lahaina Harbor. And, according to the West Maui lawmaker, it couldn’t have happened soon enough.
McKelvey said that he and State Sen. Roz Baker secured the funding last legislative session when informed of the emergency situation by the state Department of Land & Natural Resources.
“Needless to say, we were quite chagrinned to find out that was not the case a few months ago, when we were notified by the DLNR that the Coast Guard may shut the harbor down if the project wasn’t done soon,” he said.
McKelvey explained that he and Baker “took an immediate two-pronged course of action, pressing the administration to release the money immediately because of the permitting and logistics that would still be involved to get the project going as fast as possible.”
In addition to releasing the money, the administration has also assigned its chief engineer to be lead on the project. “Because of Carty Chang’s intimate involvement on this project, I am confident that with the assistance of other stakeholders, we will be able to get the dredging done in time to satisfy federal concerns with the channel,” he added.
McKelvey said the state plans to reach out to U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz to help ensure Lahaina Harbor will be kept open while the work is being done, and also to help secure a land- based de-watering site for the material.
McKelvey said the state is already looking at locations “which would not impact nearby residents with dust and noise like the last time we had to do this.”