Mayor forwards budget proposal

Mayor Bryan Baptiste sent his annual supplementary budget proposal Monday to the County Council in advance of today’s meeting.

The council must approve the budget proposal for it to take effect.

The mayor is seeking approval on a $131.5 million proposed operating budget and $58.5 capital improvement program budget for fiscal year 2007.

This represents an increase of .01 percent over the proposed operating budget and 2.4 percent more than the proposed CIP budget that was submitted by the mayor on March 15.

Accompanying the budget proposal was a message in which the mayor said that one of the things that served as a guide in determining his budget proposal was the request by residents for an increase in government services during recent regional meetings held in several communities across the island.

“This budget reflects a balance between requests of citizens for increased services and our need to demonstrate fiscal responsibility and accountability,” Baptiste said in a press release.

The largest item in the supplemental CIP budget proposal is $600,000 earmarked for project contingency funds.

“We continue to be concerned with increased costs of construction projects over and above original engineering estimates,” the mayor states in the request.

Under the category titled “recent events,” $500,000 is being requested for Pouli Road design work.

“While this year’s Legislature opted not to fund the Pouli Road Design Plan, we feel strongly that the need to provide traffic relief in the Kapa‘a-Wailua corridor is paramount,” states the mayor. “Studies have indicated, and the community concurs, that extending and improving Pouli Road would have a positive impact on traffic flow in the area.”

Other items in the recent events category include a $96,000 request for water pumps for future emergency use, and about the same amount to add to the county’s Disaster Trust Account to cover expenses that are not reimbursable.

Under the heading of new developments, the mayor is requesting $250,000 for park improvements, repair and maintenance, $60,000 to cover the costs of mediation and other tools to help resolve the problems that exist in the Kaua‘i Police Department, $35,000 for the KPAL program, $30,000 to fund a new humane officer position with the Kaua‘i Humane Society, $25,000 to expand the Elderly Meal Service, $19,000 to support the efforts of the Charter Commission and $15,000 each for unanticipated expenses for other commissions and the Filipino Centennial Celebration.

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