Mayor signs record high $1.07 billion budget, saying it will rebuild Maui County
Saying that the county will go from surviving — to rebuilding and revitalizing — Mayor Michael Victorino today signed into law the record-high $1.07 billion budget for the new fiscal year.
“It will make us more resilient and sustainable, whether it’s climate change, our economy, our environment but most importantly for our people of Maui County,” Victorino said in defending the budget.
After the pandemic hit, the county was focused solely on surviving, he said.
“Now we can focus on rebuilding and revitalizing the things that made Maui County no ka ʻoi,” Victorino said.
With council members in attendance, Victorino offered final thoughts on the budget process, saying that the budget for the new fiscal year includes investments in affordable housing for workforce families, economic diversity, economic and environmental protection and climate change prevention. Also, it “maintains programs and amenities that our citizens rely upon.”
Victorino’s highlights included the following:
• Nearly $33 million for the county’s Affordable Housing Fund
• $3 million grant related to locally grown foods that will help farmers and ranchers boost their businesses
• $3.8 million Park Maui project that will control county-owned parks to benefit residents while generating revenue from visitors
• $55 million Central Maui wastewater reclamation facility that will expand and accelerate new home construction
• More than $30 million in road improvements
• $28 million in parks and recreation improvements
• $43 million Hālau of ʻŌiwi Art in Wailuku
Victorino left the council’s version of the budget in tact, despite his initial opposition of a $9.5 million Ma‘alaea Regional Wastewater System.
“I still have my challenges with that whole aspect,” he said the budget item. “And we’re working with the Ma‘alaea association and the businesses there to do something to make it right. We want to protect the environment, that is very important, but we want to do it in the right manner.”
“We may move in a different direction, but we will have the same results,” Victorino added.
The fiscal year 2023 budget is $1.069 billion, including operating costs of more than $805 million and capital improvement projects of more than $263 million. It goes into effect July 1.