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Mayor Arakawa Submits $795.3 Million Budget to Maui Council

By Maui Now; Maui Now; March 25, 2017
Mayor Arakawa Submits $795.3 Million Budget to Maui Council

Fiscal 2018-2019 Budget Presentation. (Ryan Piros)

Maui Now

Mayor Alan Arakawa presented his proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget to Maui County Council members Friday morning in Council Chambers. The budget proposal calls for anticipated revenues of $720.3 million to fund an operating budget of $563.5 million and a capital program budget of $156.7 million.

District budget meetings have also been scheduled.  Click HERE for the upcoming meeting schedule.

Some of the proposed Capital Improvement Projects include:
– $28.6 million for the New Service Center at the Maui Business Park
– $53.3 million for solid waste and wastewater system improvements, including $24.0 million for modifications at the Lahaina
Wastewater Reclamation Facility
– $34.4 million for various road and drainage projects
– $16.2 million for improvements to various parks & recreational facilities including the War Memorial Gym
– $33.0 million for water system upgrades and replacements

To help make up a shortfall due to more extensive, costly federal and state regulations, as well as increases in costs relating to operations, anticipated bargaining unit contracts, mounting pension payments and healthcare premiums, the administration is proposing to make a 7.5 percent increase in tax rates for all classifications of property. The budget also proposes using 3 percent of real property tax revenues to create an Affordable Housing Fund, which would allow the County to acquire lands for affordable housing projects to help alleviate the shortage of housing.

Other operations costs include:

– replacing 24 police patrol vehicles;
– replacing a 2002 ladder truck for the Wailea Fire Station;
– replacing the county’s outdated payroll system with a newer, fully integrated system that manages levels and costs of staff resources;
– replacing four of the oldest vehicles in the Department of Liquor Control’s fleet with new vehicles which will have lower operating and maintenance costs;
– sponsoring the fourth Made in Maui County Festival as well as dozens of other economic development programs;
– providing business development services through the Maui County Business Resource Center and Molokai’s Kuhao Business Center;
– supporting the Maui Visitor Bureau’s Visitor Growth Initiative in an effort to increase visitor arrivals, length of stay and spending in international markets, as well as support and promote our islands’ signature events
– funding the Clean & Safe program, which provides homeless and mental health clients in Wailuku with jobs cleaning the streets;
– providing $3 million for the Open Space, Natural Resources, Cultural Resources and Scenic Views Preservation Fund;
-providing a $24.8 million in grant subsidies to support important social welfare programs, economic development initiatives and veterans’ programs
– providing $34.1 million for drainage and road projects.

Other proposed new and expanded county initiatives include:

– providing $100,000 to departments with a cash match for federal funding opportunities;
– providing $9.1 million dollars or 3 percent of real property tax revenue to address the lack of affordable rental units for persons of very low to gap income;
– supporting retrofit street lighting throughout Maui County to bring streetlights into the 21st century with environmental friendly, high tech lighting that will save county taxpayers approximately $700,000 per year. Additionally, the project will qualify for rebates from Hawaii Energy of approximately $400,000;
– reallocating positions to implement the Enterprise GIS System, as a result of cross departmental collaboration and a foundation for Maui’s Automated Planning and Permitting System (MAPPS). The Enterprise GIS System is the one source for GIS data for all County departments. By the start of FY 2018, a new ArcGIS Online site for Maui County will be launched to facilitate additional self service capabilities and easy access for employees, citizens and visitors;
– funding the acquisition of the “Ueoka Building” at 2103 Wells Street, Wailuku, which is conveniently located near the courthouse and will allow for a more efficient response by the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney to our victims of violent crimes and child sexual assault; and
– providing $2 million for the expansion of Kula Agricultural Park to further promote the development of diversified agriculture by providing appropriately sized agricultural lots at reasonable rent with long-term tenure.

To view the FY 2018 proposed budget documents, or previous county budgets, please visit this link: www.mauicounty.gov/budget. To get involved in the budget process and provide valuable feedback on ten different spending categories, check out the Maui County online Budget Simulator: http://mauicounty.budgetallocator.com/.

The county is also collecting “cost reduction recommendations” via an anonymous online “suggestion box”, initiated by the Department of Management: https://ansr.me/oX860. For questions about Mayor Arakawa’s proposed 2018 Fiscal Year budget contact the Mayor’s Office at 270-7855.

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