Abandoned vehicles on the rise
LIHUE – Abandoned vehicles are on the rise in Kauai.
In fiscal 2019, the Kauai Police Department towed 653 vehicles and currently has more than 270 pending complaints.
In fiscal 2017, the ministry managed the removal of 404 abandoned and abandoned vehicles, and 498 in fiscal 2018.
Kauai taxpayers paid more than $ 411,000 for the handling and disposal of these abandoned and abandoned vehicles in 2017, and about $ 423.00 in 2018. This year, the county has already spent some $ 491,000.
Each vehicle costs at least a few hundred dollars to collect, but that number can reach $ 2,000, depending on the condition and location of the vehicle, according to KPD.
In addition, these figures do not take into account salary costs, and the time required for county staff to process the case.
“Our police officers, the abandoned vehicle coordinator, tax staff, finance ministry staff and other county staff all have a role to play and spend time fixing this problem,” the deputy chief said. KPD, Mark Begley. “We currently do not have a breakdown of these salary costs. “
Proactive steps are being taken to help resolve the issue, including a bill that the county council’s housing and intergovernmental relations committee recommended for approval on Wednesday. The proposed legislation would establish the same beautification fees for rental vehicles that residents already pay as part of their vehicle registration.
These fees are used to cover the costs of removing abandoned and abandoned vehicles. Residents can be charged up to $ 10 per year, but car rental companies currently have a cap of $ 1 per year. This bill would remove that cap.
The bill, introduced by council members Mason Chock and Luke Evslin, will now be presented to the full council for further discussion and for potential inclusion in the 2020 State County Association legislative package. ‘Hawaii and the County Legislative Package 2020 – an avenue through which the council can propose bills to the state legislature.
“The council must continue to try to help the police,” said vice-chairman Ross Kagawa. “I am happy to support any kind of legislation coming from this area. “
The council’s housing and intergovernmental relations committee, however, was not ready to move forward with another bill for an abandoned and derelict vehicle law that places the onus of transferring ownership on the seller rather than on the buyer.
A new proposal could come forward as council members work with the KPD and the county finance department to iron out more details. If they can come up with something in the right timeframe, it could also have the potential to move on to the state legislature if approved at a future council meeting.
“The KPD and Police Chief Todd Raybuck have fully supported the intent of the bill presented by council members Chock and Evslin, and we are very grateful to them for taking this first step to address this issue on the legislative plan, ”Begley said. “But during further discussion and research, we determined that the wording of the bill was not comprehensive enough to completely fill the gaps in the current law.”
Currently, vehicle buyers are responsible for transferring ownership, but sometimes do not, making it difficult for KPD to track the current owner of abandoned or abandoned vehicles.
In the meantime, there are things residents can do to alleviate the problem. KPD recommends that people who buy or sell a car “insist” that the two parties meet at the county finance department’s motor vehicle registration window to transfer title in person.
“Both parties will be better protected against fraud and this will help the county keep abreast of accurate records of transfers and vehicle ownership,” Begley said. “We believe this practice will significantly reduce the number of abandoned and abandoned vehicles. “
Vehicle owners who need to dispose of their vehicles can visit kauai.gov/vehicledisposal to learn more about the proper steps to take. Residents are allowed to dispose of up to three vehicles free of charge each year as long as they follow the instructions, which include filling out an affidavit and arranging for the vehicle to be brought to the recycling facility of Puhi Metals.
These bills will be discussed again at the next county council meeting which begins at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday in the council chamber of the historic county building.
Coco Zickos, county reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or [email protected]