2008 City Budget Focuses on Green Innovations

Saxon Sawai
Saxon Sawai
Greg Lee
Greg Lee

HONOLULU (KHNL) --  Funding a greener Honolulu. That's what Mayor Mufi Hannemann suggests to the City Council, in his latest budget proposal.

While much of the money will be used for transit, roads and sewers, nearly $40 million will go toward addressing the state's environmental issues.

Money will go toward a project demonstrating the benefits of utilizing green roofs, new environmentally friendly buses and a plan to expand curbside recycling.

While some agree curbside recycling is good for Hawaii, others wonder if $8 million can be spent elsewhere.

"You got other things like education and stuff that will always need help, so if we're getting a good turnout then of course it's worth it. In one district, if you don't get that much of a turn out, to me that's a waste of money. And definitely don't spend any more money surveying it," said Mililani Resident John Mendonca.

The Honolulu Sustainability Project will demonstrate the benefits of installing green roofs, which involves placing vegetation on rooftops for the purpose of helping with insulation, noise control and roof run-off. Cost of the project will top $300,000.

"It's nice to see Hawaii getting involved with the entire movement of green roofs and I think that it's going to be an ongoing type of project that more and more people are trying to look in to," said Greg Lee of 1st Look Interiors.

High gas prices might have some people considering other modes of transportation such as buses. In an effort to keep the air cleaner in Hawaii, Mayor Hannenman's proposal includes $31.1 million to purchase 50 new hybrid buses.

"We live in Hawaii, we breathe the air, and you know everything has to do with the environment around us. $31 million, that's not a lot to invest in something that's so important as our environment right now," said Waipio Resident Saxon Sawai.

The City Council has the final say regarding the approval of the budget, which is about 15% more than what Mayor Hanneman proposed in 2007.