June 13, 2024

Mayor Richard Bissen signs $1.263B Council-approved budget into law

Alongside Maui County Council Chair Alice Lee and Council Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee Chair Yuki Lei Sugimura, Mayor Richard Bissen on Wednesday afternoon signed into law an approximately $1.263 billion Fiscal Year 2025 budget that boosts housing for residents, especially those who were displaced after the 2023 August wildfires, supports wildfire recovery and resiliency, bolsters social service programs and delivers core County of Maui services.

The budget was signed into law a week after it was unanimously passed by Maui County Council on June 5, 2024. The Fiscal Year 2025 Council-adopted budget goes into effect July 1, 2024. Budget documents will be available online by July 1, 2024, at https://www.mauicounty.gov/Budget.

Mayor Bissen thanked residents, Maui County Council and County of Maui staff who contributed to the first budget since last year’s devastating wildfires.

“Collectively, we have begun a daunting journey, navigating through very challenging times for our entire community,” Mayor Bissen said. “We will continue working together to address housing for survivors of the most complex natural disaster in Hawai‘i’s history and other recovery efforts -- all while providing core County services to our residents.

“The impact of the Maui wildfires has placed an inordinate amount of demand on the County for both human and financial resources, including rescue operations, recovery, housing, provisioning, debris removal and infrastructure replacement and repair,” he added. “These efforts continue into FY 2025, as we continue the process of healing our community, while continuing everyday County operations on Maui, Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i.”

Council Chair Alice Lee said Maui County Council is dedicated to helping residents in the wake of the disaster.

“Council attempted to address everyone’s needs in the budget but we made certain to help the displaced residents from the fire however we could,” she said. “That help is an ongoing commitment.”

Council Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee Chair Yuki Lei Sugimura, who also serves as Council Vice Chair, recognized Council’s work to respond to the community’s needs after the wildfires.

“Following August 8, my colleagues and I recognized the need to adjust the county’s budget priorities to support the immediate needs of our community,” she said. “I am grateful to community members, Mayor Bissen, his administration and the county departments who worked with the Council to craft their yearly budget.”

Maui County Council’s budget for the County’s operating budget, which covers operations and capital improvement projects, is about $8.2 million more than the budget proposed by Mayor Bissen on March 25. The $1.263 billion budget for the County’s operating budget does not include grant revenue and revolving funds totaling approximately $1.7 billion.

The Fiscal Year 2025 Council-adopted budget includes the following highlights:

Supports housing in the Lahaina Wildfire Disaster Area: $3.5 million was allocated for grants to households earning 140 percent and below of the Area Median Income (AMI) for gap financing if there is a gap between what the applicant’s homeowner insurance will cover for the rebuild of their owner-occupied home up to the home's original square footage in exchange for a 60-year affordable deed restriction. Preference would be based on length of residency within the West Maui Community Plan Area to the extent permitted by law.

Bolsters affordable housing projects in West Maui: Grant to Homestead Community Development Corporation for the Permanently Affordable Rental Unit Strategy with all of the PARUS strategy acquired homes in West Maui; a proposed grant to Pulelehua with several conditions; a loan to Ikaika ‘Ohana for the Kaiaulu o Kupuohi project consisting of 89 units located at 258 Kupuohi Street in Lahaina; and acquisition of 258 Kupuohi Street in Lahaina, subject to a lease agreement with Ikaika ʻOhana.

Helps wildfire recovery for critical infrastructure: Added $39 million in bond-funded CIPs in the Department of Management for wildfire recovery related projects. Pump station temporary repairs; road and sidewalk repairs; roadway connectivity for evacuations including land acquisition; storm drainage, flood control, and water quality improvements; and fire flow improvements to the water system. Projects were added for construction, permitting, operations, and maintenance of the wildfire permanent disposal site; wildfire debris removal; water infrastructure repairs and replacement and wastewater repairs related to the wildfires.

Mitigates public safety threats by creating positions, securing tools and building infrastructure to fight fires and address other threats: $2.25 million in funding added for the Pūkoʻo Fire Station on Molokaʻi. Funding for start of Maui Police Department helicopter program. Added seven unfunded positions for Maui Emergency Management Agency so the administrator can begin hiring positions created in preparation for the FY26 budget.

Secures open space and County park land: Added funding for purchase of Nanualele, Kawaipapa, Hāna, for conservation purposes, TMK: (2) 1-3-007:024 for 9.78 acres; Nā Mamo o Mūʻolea land management for safety and security improvements, TMKs (2) 1-5-007:001 and (2) 1-5-007:012; acquisition of approximately 82.18 acres located at Haʻikū, TMK: (2) 2-7-004-050; an additional $3.5 million for Lahaina Land Trust for a total of $5 million; and funding added for Von Tempsky Community Center Complex in Kula property acquisition.

Using General Excise Tax Funds to support rebuilding infrastructure in the wildfire disaster area: These projects include construction, permitting, operations and maintenance of the wildfire permanent disposal site; wildfire debris removal; water infrastructure repairs and replacement and wastewater repairs related to the wildfires; and the Kahului Wastewater Treatment Plan 4th Aeration Basin.

For more information on the County budget process, visit https://www.mauicounty.gov/Budget.

County of Maui Recovery Permit Center

A vital resource for those who are looking to rebuild in fire-affected areas in Lahaina and Kula as they navigate the permitting process and take the next step toward returning home.

County of Maui Service Center
110 Alaihi St., Suite 207

Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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