Citing higher property tax valuations this year, Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa said that he is proposing that the property tax rate in all categories remain flat this year, during his annual budget presentation before County Council members today.
The proposed Maui County budget for Fiscal Year 2017 totals $810.4 million. Of that amount, proposed revenues from County Funds of $711.5 million will provide funding for an operating budget of $563.6 million and a capital program budget of $147.9 million.
The mayor said he had already cut $43.5 million out of Capital Improvement Program projects and $11.5 million from operational requests and that whatever was left over, is necessary to meet the needs of the community. Although the county has done its best to catch up on infrastructure and service projects, the mayor said there is still much to be done.
“We stop working and basic needs won’t be met. Water, sewer, refuse, police, fire – all of these are very necessary services for the community,” said Mayor Arakawa. “Many projects were either deferred or underfunded in the past, and they still need to be done. So some of our budget will always be to catch up on past deferrals.”
Some of the county’s FY 17 CIP projects include:
– $38.9 million to continue road resurfacing and improvements, including work done by our in-house road paving and preservation crew and the matching required for Federal Aid projects;
– $25.8 million for continued Water Supply improvements, including source development, storage, and transmission upgrades and repairs, including $13 million for the West Maui Reliable Capacity project;
– $34.9 million for Wastewater improvements and expansion, including recycled water, sewer lines, reclamation facilities, and pump stations.
The biggest one involves $12.5 million for modifications to the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility.
– $25.3 million for new Parks facilities and improvements, including funds required to improve various facilities throughout the county’s eight community plan districts;
– $13.4 million for other projects such as $6.3 million for large equipment purchases, and $5.7 million for the public safety radio system
– $10.7 million for Government Facilities, including much needed building repairs to our main Kalana O Maui building;
– $15.3 million for drainage improvement projects, including $9.0 million for continued work on the Lahaina Watershed Flood Control project.
“After agonizing to try to balance what the county must do, what we’ve planned to do, and what everyone wants us to do with the limited resources available, the administration looks forward to working with the council to move Maui County forward in the accomplishment of our vision, mission and goals,” said Budget Director Sandy Baz.
The mayor noted that when the Council and the administration work together, “we do phenomenal things,” and cited land purchases to preserve open space, new park facilities, road improvements and other projects over the years.
“A hundred years from now, no one will be the least bit interested in any arguments we may have had,” Arakawa said. “But they will look at the footprints that we have created in this community.”
A copy of the proposed FY 17 budget document can be found at http://www.mauicounty.gov/budget