Mayor Arakawa Signs 2018 Budget
Maui County Mayor Alan M. Arakawa today signed into law the operating and capital improvement budgets for fiscal year 2018, which begins July 1.
He approved Bill 65, the County Council’s operating budget that provides for $562.7 million for the day-to-day costs of County government, and Bill 64, the Council’s capital budget that allocates $142.5 million for construction projects.
“The difference between the administration’s proposed budget and the council’s approved budget is a mere 2%, so I’m confident that we are staying the course on our spending priorities,” Mayor Arakawa said. “Considering the magnitude of the County’s operational and infrastructure needs, both immediate and long-term, I am pleased that the FY 2018 budget is a lean budget that continues to place an emphasis on the key themes of my administration: public health and safety, public facilities and infrastructure, environmental management and protection, transportation, and the modernization of processes.”
The mayor also noted that when it comes down to it, both the administration and council must do their best to forecast project costs.
“There are a lot unknowns, rising construction prices for example. You try to forecast a reasonable range of costs, adjusting along the way to keep within our fiscal parameters,” Mayor Arakawa said. “The council has the advantage of reviewing the administration’s estimates but it’s all based upon the same economic factors.”
Arakawa noted that he was “disappointed” that the council reduced money for affordable rental housing in the community. He said there was also a lack of funding for two Battalion Chief positions, “even though they approved the limited-term positions themselves.” In the end, however, there was “more to be thankful for than upset about.”
“I am grateful to Council Chair Mike White, Budget Chair Riki Hokama and the rest of our council members for directing spending at repairing and maintaining our parks, gyms, police facilities, replacing old vehicles, including a ladder truck for South Maui which is in constant need of repairs,” the mayor said. “And we’re moving forward with the construction of a new Service Center at the Maui Business Park with DMV, Real Property Tax, and the Department of Housing and Human Concerns as anchor tenants.”