$50 Million In Record High City Budget Goes to Mass Transit Development, Including ‘Land Acquisition’-City Deputy asks State Legislators to Consider Putting the Brakes on a Bill that Makes it More Difficult for the Government to Condemn Private Property for Private Developers Because of the Multi-Billion Dollar Rail System Planned for Honolulu to Kapolei; Though the Initial Project is Not Off the Ground, the Mayor Talks About Expanding the Rail to Hawaii Kai and Mililani

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Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann unveiled his proposal for the city budget yesterday for Fiscal Year 2007, offering details of the record high $1.493 billion operating budget and $629 million capital improvement budget.

Included in what the mayor calls a “no frills” fiscal plan, which is around 10 percent higher than the city’s 2006 FY Budget, is $50.2 million for a “Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project.”

The mayor denies the city has any plans to condemn private property along the proposed rail line. But his own managing director said just moments later during the same press conference that the $50.2 million will fund “preliminary engineering, planning, finalizing the Environmental Impact Statement” and “land acquisition” for the rail project. “Land acquisition,” the managing director explained, is the purchase of private property by the government.

The construction and maintenance of the rail itself is set to be funded by a 12.5 percent increase to the state

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