McKelvey Secures Funds for Lahaina Harbor and Bypass Next Stage
By Maui Now Staff
Funds for the emergency dredging of Lahaina Harbor and the next phase of construction for the Lahiana Bypass have been secured under a House budget bill that now advances to the state Senate for review.
Representative Angus McKelvey of West Maui announced that he secured funds for the critical infrastructure projects in the 10th District, with the support of other House members from Maui.
Funding was also secured for various harbor projects and schools on the West Side and in Māʻalaea.
“It is critical that funding for these essential West Maui projects be secured in the House version of the budget because the power of the pure resides with the House,” said McKelvey in a statement. “This helps to position them for the final negotiations on the budget during the conference period between the two chambers in April.”
The House’s version of the state budget, HB 500 HD1, contains $2.25 million dollars to fund the emergency dredging of the Lahaina Harbor entrance channel.
“This funding is critical because of the now shallow depth of the entrance channel of the harbor that if not remediated through emergency dredging, could force the closure the harbor. Given the critical role our harbor plays both to residents and the visitor industry this was a number one priority this session,” McKelvey said, adding that failure to fund the dredging could also jeopardize jobs as well.
An estimated $8.5 million in matching state funds were also secured for the construction of the next stage of the Lahaina Bypass from the Puamana area at Hōkiokio Road to Olowalu near the Cut Mountain area by the county landfill.
“The federal government has accepted the proposed ‘Red Line’ alternative which gives us the most highway for the bypass and helps the county in their efforts to convert the existing stretch of the Honoapiʻilani Highway from Cut Mountain to Puamana into a scenic coastal road,” said McKelvey.
“That will provide access to the area which is slated to become a park because of the county’s recent purchase of the land in the area as well as biking and walking opportunities,” he said.
The House budget bill also includes funding for West Maui schools and additional support for improvements for Lahaina Harbor and Māʻalaea in lump sum allocations in the budget.
“Lump sum funding is an allocation of monies that is appropriated to an agency for a wide variety of projects across Maui and the state,” McKelvey explained. “Unlike past legislatures where the exact allocation of lump sum funding was done internally within the various agencies, we had the departments submit a complete breakout of the various projects to be funded thorough the lump sum so we can ensure greater transparency and equity to all our communities, especially West Maui.”
School projects for Lahaina funded through the lump sum include the following:
- $105,000 for re-roofing at Kamehameha III Elementary, repairing the kitchen floors, and repainting and renovation of various buildings on the historic campus;
- $300,000 for Lahaina Intermediate for major re-roofing; and
- $488,000 for Lahainaluna High School for renovations to bathrooms, re-roofing and other backlogged repairs.
The lump also contains funds for Princess Nahienaena Elementary replacement of the play-field sidewalk.
In addition to the dredging line item, McKelvey said that the lump sum for the Department of Land and Natural Resources Small Boating Division contains $250,000 for the installation of new fenders and bull rails along the front row of Lahaina Harbor to replace badly deteriorated or damaged fenders and bull rails.
The operating budget portion of HB 500, HD1 includes the following:
- $3.8 million for public school teacher recruitment and retention in hard-to-fill locations;
- $11.55 million for charter school per pupil funding;
- $7.7 million to maintain existing ambulance service levels;
- $3 million for the state hospital system to address existing financial issues;
- $72.1 million for special maintenance projects at Hawaiʻi airports including Kahului Airport; and
- $70.9 million for highway road repair and maintenance projects, which includes critical repair and maintenance work for the Honoapiʻilani Highway as well.
In addition to the West Maui projects, the CIP budget also includes the following:
- $50 million to the Rental Housing Trust Fund to help finance new affordable rental housing units statewide;
- $32 million for facility repairs and maintenance, upgrades and improvement at Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corp. hospitals including Maui Memorial Medical Cener; and
- $21 million for Kahului Harbor improvements.
“While these projects are not on the West Side, the improvements and renovations for Kahului Harbor, Kahului Airport and Maui Memorial will serve our residents by continuing to ensure we have the transportation and health care facilities we need for all of our communities including West Maui and Māʻalaea,” said McKelvey.
The budget totals $13.3 billion budget for the entire state over the next two years with $6.5 billion for FY2016 which begins on July 1, 2015, and $6.8 billion for FY2017.