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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 3:12 p.m., Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mystery odor closes county service center on Maui

Advertiser Staff

KAHULUI, Maui — A mystery odor forced officials to close the county's Kahului Service Center at the Maui Mall today.

A dead rat initially was suspected of being the source of the bad smell, but inspections by an exterminator, the Maui Fire Department hazardous materials team, the air-conditioning vendor and the mall property manger failed to identify the cause of the odor.

The Service Center houses the Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing and the Real Property Tax Dvision, and accepts payments for refuse collection and other county services. Officials said they planned to run the air-conditioner overnight and check tomorrow morning to see if the odor persists before deciding whether to reopen the facility.

In the meantime, customers can go to satellite county offices in Kihei, Lahaina and Upcountry, where additional staffing is being provided while the center is closed.