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HART: "We don't need $44M from Mayor Caldwell"

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Wayne Yoshioka
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The Honolulu City Council Budget Committee reviewed the Mayor’s nearly 3.5 billion dollar operating and construction budget for 2019 today.  One request from the Mayor was for $44-million in financing for the Honolulu Rail Transit project.  Budget Committee chair, Trevor Ozawa, asked HART chief financial officer, Robert Yu, if the funding was required.

(Ozawa)  “We should talk about the $44 million that we’ve been told is a shortfall.  Do we need that $44 million today? 

 

(Yu)  “The short answer to your question is, ‘No.’ And the reason I say that is because for Fiscal Year ’18 and ’19, we received $21 million of federal grant reimbursement in July of 2017 and we have two months of GET (General Excise Tax) and that comes out to about $39 million.  So, that is the funding source that we are using to cover HART’s current operating expenditures.

 

HART officials also say they have not received any written or verbal requirement for that money from the Federal Transit Administration. 

Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka is an award-winning journalist who has worked in television, print and radio in Hawaiʻi. He also has been on both sides of politics as a state departmental appointee and political/government reporter. He covered Hurricane Iwa (1982) as a TV reporter; was the State Department of Defense/Civil Defense spokesperson for Hurricane Iniki (1992); and, commanded a public affairs detachment in Afghanistan (2006). He has a master's degree in Communication from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and is a decorated combat veteran (Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and 22 other commendation/service medals). He resides in Honolulu.
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