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Makoa Trucking Plans Expansion

With an increasing demand for storage space and limited area for its vehicles, Makoa Trucking & Services plans to add a 1,920-square-foot steel warehouse at 40 Hio Place, across the street from Rawlins Chevron station.

Last Wednesday, the Molokai Planning Commission approved a Special Management Area (SMA) Minor Permit for New Horizon Enterprises, Inc. dba Makoa Trucking & Services. The project must begin no later than Sept. 30, 2017 and must be completed within two years of the start date.

Makoa Trucking Co-owner Chris Mebille said in recent years their expanding storage business has left less room for their trucking operations. The new warehouse would provide a place for truck storage and maintenance.

“We’ve never really had a home for our trucks. Guys have been working on the trucks in the dirt,” said Mebille. “I just want to be able to provide a warehouse where there’s a functional and safe environment for our employees.”

Owned by Mebille and Gordon Naeole, Makoa Trucking has offered transportation and storage services on island for nearly 15 years and currently has seven full-time Molokai employees. Mebille said the expansion could possibly create three to five new job openings for drivers or mechanics.

“It’s a good thing they’re doing this because it shows that there’s some type of economy going on,” said the county’s Molokai Planner Sybil Lopez.

The company currently has a 55,677-square-foot lot behind Pizza Cafe, about 75 percent of which is dedicated to storage and the other portion of which is open space for trucks, Mebille estimated. He added that for safety and practical purposes they want to move the trucks to the new lot, which encompasses 35,000 square feet.

“Our mini storage customers … come and we’re rolling big trucks through,” he explained. “[With the new lot] there’s no interference between the two.”

The estimated cost of the project is $240,000 according to Mebille. The company first needs to level the property elevation, and construction of the actual warehouse could begin within the next year.

The project is not expected to have any adverse effects on the surrounding environment. Project consultant and Molokai Chamber of Commerce President Rob Stephenson said that the company will follow the best management practices laid out by the county, which include requirements on the type of material used to pave the warehouse to contain possible oil or fuel spills.

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