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Molokai Benefits From Council’s Proposed Budget

Keani Rawlins-Fernandez

Keani Rawlins-Fernandez News Release

On April 30, Council’s Economic Development and Budget committee rose to the challenge of what will likely be remembered as the most strenuous Budget Session: “The Coronavirus Deliberations,” and recommended passage of the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget.

The Council worked collaboratively with the Administration, remaining flexible and responsive to residents’ needs, and acted upon community requests to invest in a “new normal” after emerging from the statewide shutdown. The Council’s proposed $816.5 million budget reduced the Mayor’s $869.8 million proposed budget by approximately $53 million, which includes aid for Molokai residents and businesses to help recover from impacts of COVID-19.

“While facing the unique challenges of a global pandemic and unprecedented statewide quarantine,” said Budget Chair Keani Rawlins-Fernandez. “The Committee moved successfully through uncharted waters – putting Maui County on the map – succeeding in our mission to maintain public participation and accepting oral testimony.”

The proposed budget provides homeowners and businesses tax relief from the year before, despite the anticipation of receiving zero transient accommodation tax and shortfalls in wastewater and solid waste due to many hotels not operating.

Budget Highlights for Molokai include:
• Reduced owner-occupied tax rate from $2.90 to a tiered structure: $2.51 for homes valued up to $800,000, $2.56 for homes between $800,001 to $1.5 million, $2.61 for homes more than $1.5 million
• $10,000,000 – COVID-19 assistance countywide
• $2,500,000 – Microgrants for farmers countywide
• $100,000 – Molokai’s pilot incinerator project
• $300,000 – feral animal control on Molokai
• $350,000 – the Ho‘olehua Fire Station renovation/addition
• $250,000 – Kilohana Recreation Center renovations
• $500,000 – Molokai Police Station roof replacement
• $28,963 – HeadStart summer program
• $11,000 – Molokai participation in Special Olympics
• $50,000 – Suicide prevention countywide
• $10,000 – Molokai Veterans Caring for Veterans
• $20,000 – Ka Molokai Makahiki
• $35,000 – Weedsteam machine for pesticide-free weed management
• $250,000 – East Molokai Watershed Protection
• $5,000,000 – Molokai Landfill Phase V Expansion
• $250,000 – Kaunakakai Gym Rehabilitation
• $1,200,000 – Molokai Land Trust
• $99,750 – Molokai Child Abuse Prevention Pathways
• $137,634 – Molokai Humane Society
• $310,931 – Molokai Youth Center
• $30,000 – Molokai/Lana‘i Soil Water Conservation
• $10,000 – Molokai livestock coop
• $100,000 – Molokai/Lanai Agricultural Production
• $244,748 – Molokai Diversified Agriculture Program

The community is encouraged to testify on the proposed budget and the funds for Molokai at first reading on Friday, May 22. Email written testimony to county.clerk@mauicounty.us. For information on providing oral testimony, go to mauicounty.us/agendas.

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