Maui County Council members gave initial approval Friday to two measures that would benefit veterans and their survivors.
In one bill, councilors advanced a measure to fix the real property tax rate at $150 per year for the unmarried surviving spouse of a veteran who died while on duty or a veteran who became totally disabled as a result of a service-connected injury while on duty.
In a report by the Budget and Finance Committee, the panel noted that "burdens placed on the family of a veteran who has died or become totally disabled due to injuries received while on duty with the armed forces of the United States of America are immeasurable. While totally disabled veterans or their unmarried surviving spouses receive some financial compensation, real property tax payments create an additional financial burden."
In the other bill, council members approved a bill to appropriate $50,000 as Maui County's matching funding for the "Veterans' One Call One-Click Program." The U.S. Department of Transportation is contributing $233,129 to the program, while Maui Economic Opportunity Inc. is providing $10,721.
The county's money would come from carry-over savings in the general fund. The program would assist veterans and residents in accessing transit information by making a single phone call.
"The program is designed to reduce the stress and frustration that is often experienced when obtaining information on transportation programs," a committee report said.
In other action, council members moved $830,534 from funds anticipated to lapse from various capital improvement projects that had been budgeted for the Department of Public Works to the department's current fiscal year budget to make repairs at the Hana baseyard caused by heavy rains and flooding in March of this year.
The bills are expected to come before the full council for second and final reading Nov. 2.