$2.3M in gas taxes collected yet to be spent on road projects


Despite the sorry state of many of Hawaii Island’s highways and Mayor Billy Kenoi’s stated desire to use capital projects to stimulate the economy by putting people to work, some $2.3 million of gas taxes collected during the bottom of the recession is sitting in a bank instead of being used to build roads.

The Hawaii County Council is scheduled Friday to appropriate the leftover money to a list of road projects for the budget year that ends June 30. The money comes from the fuel taxes collected between 2010 and 2012, funding whose appropriations lapsed because it wasn’t spent in time.

Public Works Director Warren Lee said the bulk of the money, $1.7 million, was allocated for big public works projects that take time to get permitted and have environmental assessments done. In addition, he said, 5 percent of the fund is always held back in case asphalt and other materials costs are higher than expected.

Full story, plus a complete list of roads to be fixed, in Thursday’s edition of West Hawaii Today or visit westhawaiitoday.com.