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. “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:
Mayor Victorino proposed budget provisions to support development of attainable housing. Those include:
Mayor Victorino is asking councilmembers to consider $24 million for Department of Parks and Recreation facilities, including:
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:
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.”