Most homeowners know that it pays to maintain their homes. We know that if we defer needed repairs for too long, we will only have to pay even more in the future to fix them.
The same logic applies to our public water system. We - the public - own this system. We depend on it and we are responsible for it. We can either maintain and improve it now or we will pay for our neglect in higher rates and a poorly operating system in the future.
That is why the Realtors Association of Maui supports the water rate increases proposed by Mayor Alan Arakawa.
Our current water rates are not sustainable because they do not pay for the maintenance of our existing water system or the expansion for future needs.
To see what happens if we don't make this investment, look at Honolulu. The city has been plagued with an epidemic of daily major waterline breaks because it failed to make the necessary investments upfront. If we don't start making serious investments now, we too will pay later with a poorly functioning system, water shortages, daily line breaks and, ultimately, even higher rates.
We must start making the investment now. We must do it while also protecting those who are living on tight budgets and without driving our farmers out of business. But we must do it or we will all pay dearly in the future for our failure to act now.
Realtors Association of Maui
Government Affairs Director