The City and County of Honolulu is responsible for many of Oahu residents’ infrastructure needs: roads, sewers, water and waste. Residents and businesses pay for most of these services through property taxes, but assorted fees and taxes are also used to provide specific services. For example, residents pay sewer fees to maintain the city wastewater system. The annual vehicle registration fee includes taxes to help pay for maintenance of city roads. The city also operates and maintains parks, municipal golf courses and performance spaces. Kirk Caldwell’s submitted FY 2014 budget illustrates a fairly limited collection of revenue resources.
- Remove and/or monitor Asphalt Hawaii Inc.’s 100% monopoly on liquid asphalt imports in Hawaii. Require government contractors to use best practices and proven materials for road repairs, use independent inspectors to ensure contractors are doing it properly.
- Legislation should be passed requiring a minimum asphalt standard of 4 inches or more. Another problem is spreading limited road repair money by using even a thinner layer of asphalt or not replacing the base under the asphalt. The latter process called road “rehabilitation” (replacing up to 15% of the base) or “reconstruction” (removing more than 15% base) is very expensive.
- Stop using car tires to compact pot hole repairs. Pothole and road repairs need to be tested in a lab to ensure less than8% air content; potholes should be compressed with a roller and sealed to prevent water seepage.