The Garden Island newspaper reported today that, in an effort to bring expenses closer in line with revenue, last Friday the Kauai County Council voted to cut $314,000 from the proposed 2016 Kauai budget, representing a 0.17% reduction to the $182.2 million budget plan. This modest reduction means the county will still need to use $1.4 million of its reserve savings in order to balance the budget in 2016. Potentially even more worrisome, the county is anticipating an approximate $8 million budget hole looming in 2017, mostly due to collective bargaining agreements that will raise wages and benefits for employee unions.
Of the $314,000 in funds eliminated from the 2016 Kauai budget, the largest individual cut of $180,000 served to immediately terminate the North Shore Shuttle pilot program, which provided shuttle service between Princeville and Ke’e. The goal of the program, which operated for only 6.5 months, was to help reduce traffic along Kuhio Highway on the North Shore and provide an alternative transportation option for residents and visitors.
Offsetting some of the budget cuts decided upon on Friday, some decisions were also made to add additional funding to some areas of the 2016 budget, including a combined total of $40,000 for the YWCA’s family violence shelter and its sexual assault treatment program, and also $30,000 for improvements to parks within the Waimea District.
For more information about all of the Kauai budget cuts and additions decided upon on Friday, read the original article from The Garden Island newspaper, “Budget Trimmed by $314k.”