Our first priority should be to keep our existing county roads in good condition. Weʻve “kicked the can down the road” too long; we must not pass on a $100 million road repair bill to our grandchildren.
It took the County Public Works Roads Division several years to develop a process for evaluating the condition of county roads and a plan to keep them in good repair. They now have an estimated cost and a plan. Whatʻs missing is the money.
Weʻve “kicked the can down the road” too long; we must not pass on a $100 million road repair bill to our grandchildren.
I proposed a combination of fuel tax and vehicle weight tax increases to produce the $10 million per year needed to eliminate the road and bridge repair deficit in 10-17 years. The total amount would not have exceeded the average savings per vehicle due to low fuel prices. However, the measure was voted down on first reading before a public hearing was even held.
I then worked to approve the 1⁄4 percent excise tax which could have also provided road and bridge repair monies and monies to expand Kauai Bus services, but that was defeated by one vote (NOTE: the power of one vote on the council). The excise tax option expires on July 1, 2016. (NOTE: the County does not have the power to tax rental cars, and the Council tried to find waste in next yearʻs budget and could only find $355,000 instead of the $10 million per year needed for road and bridge repair.)
If voters want their roads repaired, they must elect council members who provide a realistic plan for fixing our roads because the longer we wait, the bigger the bill gets. Either we pay to fix our roads or we pay to fix our cars, and the problem grows.