State roundup for April 1
Kauai Council reviews budget
LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — Some Kauai County Council members are expressing concerns about Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s proposed $180.6 million budget for the 2015 fiscal year, saying it proposes too much spending.
The proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 is a $4.6 million increase over the current fiscal year. About $4 million of the proposed increase is allocated for county employee raises.
Council members said if budgets continue to grow, the county would be forced to raise property taxes.
“I don’t know how we’re going to get out of this without some very strong, decisive leadership and a plan, quite frankly,” council member Gary Hooser said.
The past five budgets have been unsustainable, according to Hooser. He said the proposal for next year is the same.
Carvalho said his proposal spends in areas where it’s necessary and reduces spending in areas that have moved toward cuts. It calls for additional revenues in targeted areas and creates opportunities for saving now and in the future, Carvalho said.
The seven-member council began looking at the proposed budget Friday. Over the next few weeks, the council will review each department’s needs and requests.
Ultralight crash report released
LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — A preliminary report in the investigation of a fatal Kauai crash of a light sport aircraft says the motorized hang glider had been experiencing fuel problems.
The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary report Friday. It says the pilot recently had problems with the fuel system suctioning the fuel supply out of the main vent line.
The crash earlier this month killed pilot Gerry Charlebois and Mark McKenzie, a tourist from Ontario, Canada.
The NTSB says the main wreckage was consumed by fire but all major structural components were located within the wreckage debris area.
The Evolution Trikes Revo was registered to Birds in Paradise LLC, a company founded by Charlebois.
The NTSB recovered the wreckage and a camera for further investigation into the cause of the crash.
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