Committee Advances $704.8M Budget Amidst Fiscal Challenges
Committee Chair Riki Hokama announced today that the Budget and Finance Committee recommended approval of a $704.8-million county budget for fiscal year 2018.
Hokama added that the budget focuses on balancing community needs with the rising cost of services, yet being mindful that tax and fee increases come directly from the pockets of residents and businesses.
Decisions at the state legislature also presented fiscal challenges. Maui County’s share of the transient accommodations tax was reduced, while employment costs have increased because of collective bargaining arbitration awards and additional required contributions to both the Hawai‘i Employees Retirement System and Employers Union Trust Fund.
Hokama said the committee still managed to balance the budget with well thought-out adjustments that will maintain the county’s strong financial position for not only this fiscal year, but for years to come.
“We listened to the community – the Waiehu Municipal Golf Course will continue its operations as a county facility, and as requested through our annual budget survey, additional funds will be dedicated to road resurfacing,” Hokama said. “A sizable investment will also be made to combat invasive species to protect our fragile ecosystem, as our economic future depends on a pristine environment.”
Other budget highlights include:
· $4.3 million for the continued revitalization of Wailuku Town, including construction funds for parking expansion
· $200,000 for Wailuku’s clean and safe program
· $25 million for a new county service center at the Maui Business Park Phase II in Kahului
· An additional $24 million for the West Maui Wastewater Reclamation Facility, combined with funding over the past two years will total $49 million
· More than $5.2 million for road resurfacing across the county
· $1.2 million for the expansion of Kula Agricultural Park and related water infrastructure improvements, and another $500,000 for a new agricultural park in Lānaʻi
· An additional $200,000 for a multi-skill-level Upcountry skate park, which brings the total funding to $1.4 million
· $250,000 for the design of a new Kahului Community Center
· $250,000 for the acquisition of Dole Park on Lānaʻi
· On Molokaʻi, $35,000 for planning of the relocation of the Pukoo Fire Station
· $350,000 for the design for the War Memorial Gym improvements in Wailuku, plus $1.4 million for construction
· $2.5 million for environmental protection, coqui frog eradication, along with the eradication of miconia and other invasive plants
· $1.6 million for the acquisition of the Ueoka Building in Wailuku for a new Family Justice Center, the first of its kind to service victims of domestic violence and abuse
· $100,000 to support the 250th birthday celebration of Queen Kaʻahumanu in March 2018
For details and updates on the fiscal year 2018 budget, click here.
A public hearing on vehicle weight tax and reconvene of real property tax public hearing will be at 10 and 11 a.m. respectively on May 12.
The council is scheduled to consider the budget on first reading on May 19, with second and final reading on May 30. The budget will take effect on July 1.