Hawaii Votes on Funding Dam and Reservoir Repairs


On November 4, Hawaii voters will decide whether “special purpose revenue bonds” will be sold as a means of generating financial assistance to dam and reservoir owners to aid in improvements or maintenance to ensure compliance with safety standards.

Amendment 5, a constitutional amendment, will read as follows:

“Shall the State be authorized to issue special purpose revenue bonds and use the proceeds from the bonds to offer loans to qualifying dam and reservoir owners to improve their facilities to protect public safety and provide significant benefits to the general public as important water resources?.”

A vote “for” will allow the legislature to issue “special purposes revenue bonds” that will provide needed assistance to owners without placing an undue burden on the state.

A similar measure was defeated by voters in 2012.  In order to take effect the measure must not only win a majority of votes on this proposal but, must also win a majority of all voters in this election.  This makes it ever more critical to ensure funds are available to assist all dam/reservoir owners.

To ensure additional funds can be made available to improve Hawaii’s dams and reservoirs, protect public safety and preserve important water sources, remember this when you vote:

✓        Special Purpose Revenue Bonds will not create an additional burden for the state or taxpayers.

✓        Both public and private entities will have an opportunity to seek out special purpose bonds.

✓        The measure will have no effect on current or future tax rates or spending levels.

✓        Breaches not only create a public safety risk but, can cause significant damage to infrastructure in the surrounding area. Ensuring funds are available for dam and reservoir improvement is in the public interest.

Amendment 5 is supported by the ASCE Hawaii Section in addition to local Chamber of Commerce and a number of agricultural and land use groups. It is also one of 15 legislative proposals endorsed by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources in 2014.

Preserve the integrity of dams and reservoirs throughout the state by supporting this important ballot measure!

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