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Tavares proposes fee increases in budget


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POSTED: Saturday, March 14, 2009

Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares has proposed increasing trash, water and sewage fees in her fiscal 2009-10 budget.

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Trash fees would be raised by $2 a month for residential users, water rates by $1.75, and sewage fees up to $5.47 a month.

She has proposed no property tax increases.

Tavares said rising valuations and revenues from hotels and timeshares are expected to slightly increase revenues from property taxes.

She wants the county's operating budget to rise by 2.6 percent and to raise county construction spending by 25 percent to help lift the economy.

Tavares has proposed increasing the operating budget to $473 million for fiscal 2009-10 or about 2.6 percent higher than the previous fiscal year.

She wants the county to spend some $159 million in capital improvements, compared to $127.5 million in fiscal 2008-09.

Some of the money for capital improvements would come from the federal and state government.

Tavares also proposed increasing county positions by 15 in several departments.

She said part of the 2.5 percent increase in operating budget will pay for negotiated employee wage increases and benefits.

Major building projects include $20 million for the first phase in construction of a new police station in Kihei, $30 million in improvements to the county's wastewater system, and $25 million for roads, streets, bridges, including reconstruction and beautification of Market Street in Wailuku.

Other projects include: $14.8 million for water development improvements, $1.6 million for plans and design of a new Wailuku municipal parking structure, $625,000 for county bus shelters, $1.1 million for plans and design of county emergency management center, and $6.7 million for county parks facilities.