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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, April 19, 2010

Maui mayor proposes funding plan for air ambulance

Advertiser Staff

Maui County Mayor Charmaine Tavares on Monday announced a proposal to fund the air ambulance program for fiscal year 2010-11.

Tavares' plan would use $234,851 in unanticipated property tax revenues and $437,364 from the county emergency fund to fully fund the program.

"Many in the community have requested that I reconsider my earlier proposal to remove funding for the state's air ambulance program in the county's budget proposal," Tavares said in a news release. "I had hoped to see the state Department of Health and Maui Memorial Medical Center come forward to pay for this important service, which is part of their overall mission.

"However, the state and hospital appear to be unable to meet this responsibility in fiscal Year 2011. I urge them to include the full funding necessary for the Air Ambulance in their own budgets in future years."

Part of the county funding would come from unanticipated property tax revenues. Property assessments are higher than first thought, meaning there will be an additional $234,851 in tax revenues, Tavares said.