Mayor’s FY 2020-2021 Budget Includes $10 M to Combat COVID-19March 25, 2020, 4:07 PM HST · Updated March 26, 6:42 AM 1 Comment
*Maui Mayor Michael Victorino today presented his Budget Proposal to the Council and public during a live video address carried by the County of Maui and Akakū.
Mayor Victorino presents administration’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget proposal
County of Maui well positioned to meet COVID-19 crisis
Mayor Michael Victorino presented his Fiscal Year 2021 budget proposal to members of the Maui County Council today, proposing to lessen the financial burden on taxpayers while doing more to respond to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis.
“Our longtime fiscally conservative policies have positioned us well to face the economic hardship our nation will endure as the coronavirus disaster plays out in the weeks and months ahead,” Mayor Victorino said in a press release.
“Thanks to my administration, previous administrations and our great partners in the Maui County Councils, we continue to receive the highest bond rating the county has ever received: AA+. Working together we have consistently put monies away for a rainy day and spent taxpayer dollars wisely to meet current and future needs.”
The Victorino administration has already requested a Fiscal Year 2020 budget amendment for an appropriation of $4 million from the Emergency Fund and $2 million for the HELP program. The HELP program will help residents meet their basic financial needs.
“Maui County is poised to fight the battle against COVID-19 and overcome the devastating path it has created, while still keeping an eye on our future,” Mayor Victorino said.
The proposed budget totals $869.8 million, including $165.6 million for capital improvement projects.
Mayor Victorino cautioned that due to uncertainties with COVID-19’s impact on the economy, it may be necessary to withhold funding or make necessary adjustments going forward. Specific proposals include:
- NO rate increases for water, sewer, refuse collection, landfill tipping fees or other county services.
- A DECREASE in the real property tax rate for owner-occupied, commercial, industrial and hotel classifications.
- $10 million in Countywide Costs to help eliminate COVID-19.
- $3.8 million to the recently tapped Emergency Fund to position Maui County for future emergencies
Mayor Victorino proposed budget provisions to support development of attainable housing. Those include:
- An $18.7 million appropriation to the Affordable Housing Fund.
- $3 million for the First Time Home Buyers program.
- Funding for Waiale land acquisition for affordable housing.
Mayor Victorino is asking councilmembers to consider $24 million for Department of Parks and Recreation facilities, including:
- Renovations for War Memorial Gym.
- Reconstruction of the Hana Park tennis and basketball courts.
- Improvements for the Molokai, Lanai and Waiakoa gyms.
- Renovations to the Lahaina Civic Center, Paia Community Center and Velma McWayne Santos Community Center.
For infrastructure improvements, Mayor Victorino is seeking $43 million in road improvements, $47 million in sewer improvements, $9 million in sanitation improvements and $21 million in water system improvements. Some specifics include:
- Maintenance of the Wailuku Water Co. system.
- Expansion of the Molokai Landfill.
- Expansion of the West Maui recycled water system.
- Countywide road resurfacing and pavement preservation.
- Waiale Road extension.
- Countywide traffic and safety program improvements.
For public safety on highways, Mayor Victorino is proposing additional Maui police officers for traffic enforcement and to combat drunken driving. Another proposal is the creation of a Children’s Peace Center for crime victims.Mayor Victorino also proposed spending $2 million to create climate action plans in each department in the County of Maui.
“We must take action now on climate change,” he said. “To manage this effort, my office will coordinate climate action, sustainability and resiliency for the County.”
To promote cultural preservation, Mayor Victorino is seeking grant funding for culture and arts initiatives, including restoration of the Heritage Gardens at Kepaniwai Park and a Culture Resource Training Center. The center would perpetuate traditional Hawaiian education and research.
“Investing in cultural preservation and recreational facilities helps to create a community we can be proud of for many years to come,” Mayor Victorino said.Mayor Victorino reached out to Councilmembers who will review and deliberate on his administration’s budget proposal.
The fiscal 2021 budget goes into effect July 1, 2020.
“I look forward to collaborating with you during this budget process to make sure the needs of Maui County are taken care of, now and in the future,” he said. “I know our partnership and actions today will lead Maui County to a brighter tomorrow.”
- *Above information courtesy County of Maui.
___________Taking a different approach with the fiscal year 2021 budget
*Submitted by Budget Chair Keani Rawlins-FernandezThe Maui County Council’s Economic Development and Budget Committee will be taking a new approach this budget session in light of COVID-19, committee chair Keani N.W. Rawlins-Fernandez announced.“I worked closely and expeditiously with Council Chair Alice Lee to take necessary proactive steps to protect public health while promoting continued civic engagement within our community during the upcoming budget session,” Rawlins-Fernandez said in a press release. “We made the tough call two weeks ago that we would begin the legislative branch transitioning to work remotely and conduct all fiscal year 2021 budget deliberations via video conferencing.”The budget covers the period from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. It determines departmental funding to carry out assigned duties, grants distributed to community organizations and rates and fees the county may collect.
The budget also outlines appropriations for the county’s capital improvement projects, which include road repair and maintenance, water system upgrades and park improvements.
All meetings will be available for viewing live on Channel 53 and MauiCounty.us and we will receive public testimony. Written testimony can be emailed to [email protected] and oral testimony can be provided by connecting to https://BlueJeans.com/597785199 or calling 1-408-317-9253 and entering meeting code: 597 785 199, subject to change.
For information on how to submit oral testimony via phone or videoconference and for all documents and up-to-date changes on the budget session, visit MauiCounty.us. Committee meetings to discuss the budget are scheduled to start on March 30 and continue throughout April.