New Army program aims to reduce number of abandoned cars on streets

New Army program aims to reduce amount of vehicles abandoned on city streets
Updated: Aug. 22, 2017 at 8:39 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There are about 400 abandoned vehicles owned by military personnel on tow lots around Oahu.

Soldiers dumped them when they left the state, forcing the city to store the vehicles while they search for the owner.

As space to store the abandoned vehicles runs out, the Army is getting involved.

"It's a very difficult problem to solve," said Dennis Duck, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Directorate of Family and MWR.

Duck's department just launched a program called the Vehicle Turn-In Service. Soldiers with unwanted cars turn over the paperwork at Schofield Barracks and pay $25. The vehicles will be sold to other service members through an auction.

"The long range goal is to reduce the number of vehicles that are being abandoned on all streets, whether they be on base or in the City and County, while at the same time providing a service for incoming soldiers who could use a cheap vehicle," Duck said.

The city applauds the Army's effort but wants the military to go one step further and be responsible for derelict vehicles soldiers dump.

"We don't want those left on our city streets. In addition we would love the military to ensure that any soldier that is deployed has a way to store their car," Department of Customer Services director Sheri Kajiwara said.

Lt. Col. Ken Phillips said the military also has its hands full with abandoned cars.

"So far this year we've towed a thousand vehicles from Army installations, and we currently have 450 to 500 vehicles in our lots," he said.

The Turn-In Service auction will eventually include some of them and possibly the abandoned military cars the city has to contend with.

"The program is in its infancy right now. We're just trying to figure out the flood that's going on right now," Duck said.

Learn more about the Turn-In Service by clicking here.  For information on the City's free system for junking vehicles, call 768-2530.

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