Molokai Ranch Barring Access to Records
MPL wants to raise water rates 178%.
Molokai Dispatch Staff
It is reported that MPL employees were ordered to burn massive amounts of company files from Maunaloa offices shortly after the ranch announced its plans to shutdown operations. Policy makers have recently complained about impeded access to MPL’s water records.
Figuring out how to continue water service to central and west Molokai users has remained difficult and frustrating for State and County policy makers who have not been provided access to necessary information.
A June 24 Maui County letter to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) claims that only “sparse information” was provided by Molokai Properties Limited (MPL), also known as Molokai Ranch. It also reads that MPL was “not responsive to each of the PUC’s requests (for information).”
While the threat of MPL’s August water utility pullout looms ever closer County representatives are urging the PUC to “subpoena books, records, accounts, and witness testimony necessary for the PUC and the Consumer Advocate to determine whether rate increases are necessary and justified.”
MPL’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Nicholas recently advised the PUC that unless former ranch employees and other residents were willing pay a significant178% increase in water rates, the MPL was going to walk away from its responsibility of providing service.
Based on the MPL’s demands, Maunaloa and Kualapu`u residents would be forced to pay a staggering $5.15 per 1000 gallons of water verses the current rate of $1.85.
“We don’t know what to expect from Molokai Ranch,” said Catherine Awakuni, Executive Director of the Consumer Advocate Office, at a recent meeting on Molokai. “We don’t know if they are going to be cooperative, uncooperative, if we are going to have to be subpoena… to get the information we need.”