The City’s annual budget cycle began last month with a series of budget briefings to outline the needs of each City department for the upcoming fiscal year. During the next six weeks, my colleagues and I will be scrutinizing the administration’s funding requests for capital improvement project priorities – including road repaving, park improvements, and homeless solutions – to address community concerns within our own neighborhoods.
In response to numerous complaints about the poor conditions of segments of Houghtailing Street located above School Street, Department of Facility Maintenance will perform temporary repairs (e.g., 1” overlay) for the segment from School Street to Hillcrest Drive this summer. The roadway is currently slated for major repairs in 2019 as part of the Rehabilitation of Streets, Unit 75project. The delayed timing of the project is due to significant problems affecting the roadway, including poor drainage, driveway connections, which require complete engineering to repair.
In spite of recent state/county accomplishments in reducing the Kakaako and Kapalama Canal encampments in our region, the numbers of homeless individuals and families in the Downtown-Iwilei-Liliha/Kalihi Valley area have grown in recent months. This Tuesday, we visited Kalihi businesses near Waiakamilo/Kaumualii Streets whose long-term businesses have been stressed by homeless individuals migrating from other areas.
Among the homeless solutions that Councilmember Manahan and I are pursuing are:
- $3 million dollars – Iwilei Hygiene Center (plans, design, construction, and related equipment for a hygiene center facility with public restrooms, showers and laundry facilities to serve homeless individuals and the general public).
We have been very encouraged by the successful “Urban Rest Stop” programs operated by Seattle’s Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), which has operated its Downtown Urban Rest Stop since 2000. With 5 private shower rooms, 9 washer/dryers, large restrooms and a health room, LIHI’s URS programs provide 16 hours daily services to homeless men, women, and children within a clean, safe, respectful and dignified environment.
- $500,000 – Operating funds to Expand Services by Homeless Services Providers with a proven track record of successful housing, treatment and related services for chronically homeless with mental health and/or chemical dependency issues to accommodate 50 additional homeless residents.
Members’ amendments to Bill 14 (FY 17 Operating Budget) and Bill 15 (FY 17 CIP Budget) were reviewed during Special Budget Committee meetings held on April 5th and April 6th; the committee voted to adopt some of the proposed amendments. Bill 14, CD1 and Bill 15, CD1 will be considered by the full Council on second reading on April 20th at Honolulu Hale.