Kauai County mayor puts focus on infrastructure in State of County address
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In his State of the County address, Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami emphasized a focus on improving infrastructure on the island.
He announced an operating budget of $312 million and a capital improvement program of $90 million.
“The goal of this year’s budget is to continue shaping a strong foundation that future generations can stand on,” Kawakami said.
“While we know we cannot solve all our island’s issues, our operating budget aims to meet the community’s expectations with a focus on infrastructure, infrastructure and infrastructure.”
Among his plans include upgrades to Kauai’s aging roads, culverts and bridges. He also announced a plan to create “a shared use path” from Waimea to Kekaha to connect the island’s westside communities.
Kawakami said he is also working to ensure that a bulk of the county’s tax burden is paid by non-residents.
“While the county does not control population or visitor arrivals, we can help to manage the way people move, how they build, and where they stay,” Kawakami said.
He mentioned the county is working to ensure that those traveling to Kauai stay in “Visitor Destination Areas” and that they are piloting a paid visitor parking system for Poipu, Lydgate or Black Pot beach parks.
Furthermore, in hopes of reducing the cost of living for residents, the county is also proposing a 10% decrease to the Residential and Homestead property tax rates
The county’s Housing Agency, along with private developers are also on track to build 400 new affordable housing units in 2023 —a record for Kauai.
In addition to these plans, Kawakami said he is also working to pay down the county’s debts while avoiding additional debt service or tax increases.
The State of the County Address was held Tuesday at the Lihue Civic Center, Moikeha Courtyard.
You can watch a recording of the event at Kauai County’s Facebook page.
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