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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                       June 20, 2007

Release No. M-63-07

 

 

MAYOR SIGNS BUDGET BILLS INTO LAW

 

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann today (Wednesday, June 20) signed into law the operating and capital improvement budgets for fiscal year 2008, which begins July 1.

 

He approved Bill 30, C.D. 2, the operating budget that provides for $1.638 billion for the day-to-day costs of City government, and Bill 31, C.D. 2, the capital budget that allocates $789.5 million for construction projects, 44.4 percent of it sewer-related.

 

            Mayor Hannemann said, “We’re staying the course on our spending priorities.  Considering the magnitude of the City’s operational and infrastructure needs, both immediate and long-term, ours is a lean budget that continues to place an emphasis on the key themes of my administration: public health and safety, sewers, solid waste, public facilities, and transportation.”

 

            “Sewer work will continue to garner the lion’s share of our capital budget.  Just last week, we held a workshop for engineers, contractors, suppliers, and labor organizations to apprise them of our extensive wastewater construction needs.  We plan to spend $1.5 billion over the next six years to rehabilitate an aging collection system, upgrade our force mains, and make improvements to our treatment plants.”

 

            “We’re also directing spending at repairing and maintaining our existing parks, gyms, fire houses, police facilities, and telecommunications stations to make up for many years of neglect.”

 

Added the mayor, “It’s worth noting that we’re also restoring order to our fiscal affairs and finding ways to save money.  Last December, Standard and Poor’s upgraded Honolulu’s bond rating from double-A minus to double-A, a change that will save the City up to $300,000 for every $100 million in bonds we sell.  The bond-raters were impressed with our openness and honesty about our financial condition, and our willingness to exercise the fiscal controls to cut unnecessary spending.  In addition, the annual audit of our finances resulted in ‘clean’ marks.

 

            “We’re also saving money during our tenure.  We canceled old purchase orders; cut long-pending construction projects and consultant contracts; saved $600,000 by eliminating escrow inefficiencies; and exercised other fiscal controls to cut unnecessary spending.  And we’re always looking for ways to engage the private sector in partnerships, with the preservation of Waimea Valley and business sponsorship of Sunset on the Beach serving as prominent examples.”

 

In addition to the budget bills, the mayor signed into law:

 

Bill 87, C.D. 2, (2006), making it unlawful to fail to comply with signs and notices posted in public parks.

 

Bill 9, C.D. 2, creating the Charter-mandated Clean Water and Natural Lands Fund for land acquisition.

 

Bill 10, C.D. 2, establishing the Charter-mandated Affordable Housing Fund to receive and expend money to provide and maintain affordable housing for persons earning less than 50 percent of the median household income

 

Bill 15, C.D. 2, improving the effectiveness of the county tax credit and increasing the credit for owners age 75 or older (capped at 3 percent of income if income requirements are met).

 

Bill 16, C.D. 1, providing a one-time real property tax credit of $200 for eligible property owners for the 2007 tax year.

 

Bill 26, C.D. 2, adopting the 2003 editions of the International Building Code and International Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings, with local amendments, and amending City building code provisions governing relocation of buildings, factory-built housing, and termite-infested lumber.

 

Bill 29, C.D. 2, adopting the fiscal year 2008 budget of $12.18 million for City Council operations.

 

            Bill 32, authorizing the sale of general obligations bonds in an amount equal to the fiscal year 2008 capital budget.

 

Bill 35, providing for the deposit of interest earned on deposits to the fiscal stability reserve fund.

 

Bill 36, C.D. 1, establishing a special reserve fund for other post-employment benefits.

 

Bill 37, updating the City’s sewer service charge schedules to rates recommended by the administration.

 

Bill 38, C.D. 1, clarifying and refining requirements for the tax credit for low-income homeowners.

 

Bill 40, C.D. 2, rezoning 5.253 acres in Kapolei from P-2 (General Preservation District) to BMX-3 (Community Business Mixed Use District), with a 60-foot height limit at the request of Costco.  Costco has agreed to maintain a City-owned drainage channel located on the site.

 

 

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OPERATING AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT

BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS

 

Fiscal Year 2008

 

PUBLIC SAFETY

 

Police

·       Six new police positions for a new quality assurance unit and DNA testing of all convicted felons

·       $5.7 million for police equipment replacement, including 89 patrol cars and 30 motorcycles and other equipment

·       $1.8 million for the police training academy indoor firing range office and classroom support facility

·       $405,000 to complete the planning and begin design of the replacement of the Waianae Police substation

·       $2.0 million for improvements to six police stations and facilities

·       $2.0 million for general repair and maintenance projects for police and fire facilities.

 

Fire

·       Nine new fire positions for the communications center, mechanic shop, and radio shop

·       $3.4 million to purchase four fire engines, a helicopter tender, a water tanker, and other vehicles and equipment

·       Additional planning and design funds to relocate the Ewa Beach Fire Station to Ocean Pointe

·       $2.0 million for improvements to 12 fire houses and facilities

 

Emergency Medical Services

·       Nine emergency medical technician positions to staff a new 911 console for emergency medical services and lifeguard positions for a new lifeguard tower at Hanauma Bay

·       $3.3 million for the new Young Street ambulance facility

 

Telecommunications

$5.5 million for upgrades to the City’s public safety telecommunications systems

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

·       $85.0 million for planning and design of the locally preferred mass transit alternative (federal funds account for $14 million; $71 million is from the transit fund)

·       $4.1 million for 35 new positions and operating expenses to start up a new organization to implement the rapid transit program

·       $4.3 million to implement the intra-island ferry demonstration project and supporting bus service

·       $25.2 million for the replacement of buses and Handi-van vehicles (federal funds account for $12.6 million)

·       $17.5 million for the design and construction of the Middle Street Intermodal Center, including the Handi-van administration and maintenance facility (federal funds accounts for $8.75 million)

·       $4.0 million for the design of the Joint Transportation Management Center at Alapai Street (federal funds account for $1.6 million)

·       $2.6 million for the design and construction of the Wahiawa Transit Center

 

STREETS AND TRAFFIC CONTROL

 

·       $3.4 million for asphalt for pothole repairs

·       $2.3 million for contracted road repairs

·       $49.7 million for road rehabilitation and reconstruction

·       $5.1 million for Waipio Point Road improvements

·       $2.3 million for the construction of Kapolei Parkway

·       $1.9 million for the construction of the Kamokila Boulevard extension

·       $1.6 million for sidewalk and curb accessibility for the handicapped

·       $1.0 million for bikeway projects

·       $3.5 million for the design and construction of a computerized traffic control system

·       $3.0 million for the design and construction of traffic signal improvements

·       $1.1 million for construction of LED countdown pedestrian signal improvements and other pedestrian safety devices

 

SEWAGE AND SOLID WASTE

 

·       $343.8 million for sewage infrastructure improvements, including $66 million for the Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion

·       Expansion of islandwide residential curbside greenwaste collection and $3.0 million (of which $2.0 million was a Council addition) to initiate additional programs to address mixed-recyclable collection and recycling

·       $5.0 million (a Council addition) for the incremental cost of shipping solid waste to an off-island refuse disposal facility

·       Full operation of the in-vessel bioconversion facility at Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant to provide recycled materials and reduce landfill disposal

·       Full operation of the ultra-violet disinfection facility and effluent pump station at the Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant

·       Continued expansion of the storm water quality program to meet federal permit requirements and protect water quality

·       $40 million for pollution control improvements to the solid waste-to-energy facility

 

PARKS AND PUBLIC FACILITIES

 

·       Five new positions to staff the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve Park

·       $1 million in additional funding for tree trimming and removal and tree replanting

·       $400,000 for repaving of parking lots at City parks

·       $3 million for master planned improvements at Ewa Mahiko District Park

·       $1.16 million for replacement of softball field lights and other improvements at Lanakila District Park gym

·       $2.35 million for the reconstruction of the swimming pool and other master planned improvements at McCully District Park

·       $2 million for mitigation improvements, such as rockslides and seawalls at parks

·       $6.6 million to renovate existing parks and recreation facilities

·       $1.76 million for the construction of two comfort stations at Waipio Peninsula Recreation Complex

·       $1.92 million for improvements at Blaisdell Center, Waikiki Shell, and other facilities

·       $5.1 million (Council addition) for City Hall improvements for the legislative branch

·       $5.1 million for Walter Murray Gibson building renovations

·       $2.1 million for the construction of the Kapolei Consolidated Corporation Yard

 

PLANNING

 

·       $1.9 million for 12 new positions and related operational costs for the transit-oriented development office

 

SUSTAINABILITY/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

 

·       $2 million (of which $1 million was a Council addition) for the Leeward Coast community benefits package ($1 million for parks improvements and $1 million for social services)

·       $200,000 for the 21st Century Ahupua‘a

·       $100,000 for sports industry projects

 

CITY OPERATIONS

 

·       $40 million for a new Other Post-Employment Benefits Fund

·       $7.5 million to the Reserve for Fiscal Stability Fund (total in reserve will be $17.5 million, plus earned interest)

·       $36 million transfer for salary adjustments and accrued vacation pay for collective bargaining pay increases and other employee salary increases

·       $1.43 million to continue the implementation of the new Enterprise Resource Planning System to replace and upgrade the City’s 25-year-old computer systems

·       $355,000 to continue the Mayor's Review to improve City processes and practices, including government service delivery, development of performance scorecards, and implementation of best practices

 

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Contact:

Bill Brennan, 527-6928

 

Monday, June 25, 2007

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