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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, June 19, 2001

Maui planning agency moves to temporary offices

By Timothy Hurley
Advertiser Maui County Bureau

WAILUKU — With its permanent building set for a thorough cleaning of mold and fungus, the Maui County Planning Department yesterday opened the doors to its temporary quarters.

One Main Plaza, an office building at Main and High streets, a block away from the county's main buildings, is the temporary address for the department.

Some 80 employees were evacuated from their offices in the Kalana Paku'i annex in February after workers complained of eye irritation and respiratory problems. Mold was later found on the ceiling of the first and second floors.

The displaced employees were moved to various locations across Wailuku, many of them squeezed into offices with inadequate computers, telephones and other support equipment. Many planning employees were placed within the offices of the county's Civil Defense agency, but with hurricane season starting this month, those offices may be needed, officials said.

The Maui County Council recently authorized spending of up to $500,000 to clean and overhaul the Kalana Paku'i annex, the county's former police station and a National Historic Site.

County spokeswoman Karlyn Kawahara said the decision to move the Planning Department to more long-term temporary headquarters was prompted by uncertainty over how long the cleaning and remedial work will take. She said the work could last months.

Planning Division employees generally are located on the third floor of One Main Plaza, while Zoning Division workers are on the sixth floor.

The department's phone numbers remain the same. The main number is (808) 270-7735.