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(Story and Photos by Wendy OSHER © 2009)

Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares delivered her 3rd State of the County Address today, announcing federal funding for the long-awaited Wailuku Municipal Parking Structure.

The county was awarded more than $1 million in federal funds for the planning and design of the project, which she said, “has languished for over 20 years.”

Mayor Tavares said the project was identified as a key element in the revitalization of Wailuku town and would be situated at the current of the municipal lot off of Vineyard Street.

Tavares traveled to the mainland to present her proposal to the federal Economic Development Agency. While there she also pitched the county’s plans for a new Emergency Management Center.

That project was awarded $850,000 in federal funds for planning and design.

The preferred site out of the five reviewed, is in Waikapu at the base of the Kamehameha Golf Course at the site of an old quarry.

Tavares said the facility is an important investment to allow the county to move into the 21st century in meeting critical needs in emergency management and disaster response for citizens.

****The complete text of the Mayor’s address will be posted on this site later today.