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MAYOR APPROVES LEAN SPENDING PLAN THAT PROTECTS CORE SERVICES

 

(Thurs., June 24, 2010) — Mayor Mufi Hannemann today gave final approval to Honolulu’s financial plan for the fiscal year that begins on July 1, including a $1.8 billion operating budget that is less than one percent larger than the current year’s figure.

 

“We’ve worked very hard with the City Council to craft a budget that protects public health and safety and the core services that our residents and visitors depend on,” Hannemann said. “I’m also very pleased that most homeowners, non-homeowners and businesses will pay lower property tax bills despite the serious challenges we faced.”

 

The budget’s slight increase is due largely to predetermined expenses such as previously arbitrated pay raises for police and firefighters, negotiated pay raises for bus drivers, and other work force costs. The budget also includes $14 million for public safety requirements associated with hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in 2011. The city hopes to receive federal reimbursement for all or a portion of such costs.

 

Absent the costs related to labor agreements and the APEC conference, the new operating budget would actually be 2.1 percent smaller than the current year’s, Hannemann noted.

 

The budget assumes 21 to 24 day furloughs of certain city employees, and continued five percent pay cuts for members of Hannemann’s Cabinet. Certain other employees not covered by collective bargaining agreements will also receive five percent pay cuts.

 

“I’m very grateful to our city team for understanding that personal sacrifices are needed to ensure that we can continue to provide core services while protecting our treasury,” Hannemann said. “In addition to the work of the City Council and the leadership of Budget Chairman Nestor Garcia, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the strong support of the Legislature. Our lawmakers recognized the many contributions the county governments make to a strong visitor industry, and preserved our share of the transient accommodations tax revenues.”

 

The separate $2.1 billion capital improvement budget designates $493 million for sanitation upgrades, $126 million for street improvements, and $1.3 billion for the Honolulu High-Capacity Rail Project, which recently achieved federal release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement.

 

            “Our capital spending will be an important boost to our economy by creating jobs in construction and related industries while building infrastructure that will meet our needs well into the future,” Hannemann said. “This capital investment comes at a crucial time as our economy struggles to recover and people need work.”

 

Capital Improvement Highlights

 

Public Safety:

·       Police and Fire Equipment and Acquisitions ($9.9 million)

·       Replacement of the Waianae Police Station ($5 million)

·       East Kapolei Fire Station ($4.5 million)

 

Roads and Streets:

·       Rehabilitation of Streets ($77 million)

·       Kapolei Parkway Construction ($18.5 million)

 

Other Initiatives:

·       Nanakuli Regional Park ($700,000)

·       Waikiki improvements ($5 million)

·       H-Power rehabilitation ($4 million)

 

Sanitation:

·       Solid Waste Facility Expansion ($142.8 million)

·       Ala Moana Wastewater Pump Station Force Mains No. 3 and 4 ($139.5 million)

·       Kaneohe/Kailua Force Main No. 2 ($90.7 million)

·       Kailua Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements ($23.6 million)

 

Transit:

·       Honolulu High Capacity Transit Project ($1.3 billion)

·       Bus and Handi-Van Acquisition ($17.7 million)

·       Alapai Transit Center and Alapai Transportation Management Center ($17.1 million)

 

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Media contact: Bill Brennan, Mayor’s Office, 768-6928