KILAUEA — Because it is unclear who owns part of Anini Road, those who live there say the road is in limbo.
“There’s no ownership on the tax key map. The road has been maintained by the county, then they decided to stop,” said Cliff Nakea. “I must say I don’t get thrilled about spending $24,o00 in taxes a year, and I don’t think we’re getting our money’s worth. We deserve to have that road maintained, and we expect the county to keep it up.”
The last quarter of a mile on Anini Road is riddled with neglected potholes, and has fallen into such bad shape that response times for emergency vehicles are delayed and the big garbage truck stopped coming, said Robert Nakea, Cliff’s brother.
“They use a smaller truck because it’s so bad there,” he said.
The Nakea brothers aren’t the only Anini Road residents who say the street has been neglected.
“There are a lot of potholes. It hasn’t been cared for, and I don’t know who owns it,” said Marilyn Anou. “We were just told it was private. We pay county taxes, and we pay for trash pickup, and sometimes, the trash cans aren’t emptied. With the taxes we pay, we require the county to treat us the same way it treats upper development.”
Tanya Hashimoto said she can barely get down Anini Road.
“It’s gotten really bad. Something needs to be done to maintain it,” she said.
Anini Road is one of several roads on Kauai where the ownership of the roads come into question.
“Close to 95 percent of the roads in limbo are roads that end in county roads and proceed to Department of Land and Natural Resources lands,” said Lyle Tabata, acting county engineer.
At the request of Mel Rapozo, council chair.Tabata addressed the Public Works and Parks and Recreation Committee about outstanding roadway dedications Wednesday.
In addition to Anini, Nuhou, Kaneka and Awawa roads, along with the street that runs along Villas at Puali, are all private roads that could be sold to the county.
“Some roads aren’t built to county standards, and it’s not in our best interest to receive them,” he said. “There are roads people never intended to give to the county, so who’s going to pay to get them up to standard?”
While the county does not keep a running list of all road dedication projects, it would be easy to figure out, Tabata said.
“We know what roads are private and what roads belong to the county, so we just need to look at what private roads need to be dedicated.”
But the private versus county road ownership has left some people, like those on Anini Road, without county services.
During the meeting, Tabata said he wasn’t aware that the last quarter mile on Anini Road wasn’t being serviced.
“I’m concerned we’re not on top of our lists on the roads in limbo and roads that aren’t dedicated,” said Councilman Mason Chock. “If we’ve been serving roads for years, and we suddenly stop, that’s wrong. We have to communicate with people and residents, especially if they have received services and are all of a sudden not.”