Honolulu is spending $3 million to “demolish the (tiny) zoo kiosk and put up a sign” says an e-mail sent out by mayoral candidate Panos Prevedouros‘ campaign. It goes on to say that “$3,000,000 can buy a lot of things including a luxury home in Hawaii. Spending this money to demolish a 150 square foot kiosk to put up a Zoo sign is simply mismanagement of taxpayer dollars.”

Here’s a screenshot of the e-mail:


We might agree with that last statement about mismanaged funds — if it were true.

The city is indeed spending $3.2 million on the Honolulu Zoo, says Bill Brennan, spokesman for the mayor’s office. But relatively little of that money is aimed at the kiosk, as Prevedouros charges. The vast majority of the money is being spent on a new front entrance for the zoo.

The design of the new structure cost $298,000. The city has budgeted $2.19 million to construct a gift shop, ticket booth, ADA ramps, security fences, gates, fiber optics and security cameras. Landscaping will come in at $597,000.

As for the kiosk?

It is being demolished, as Prevedouros says, but not at his price tag. Replacing the kiosk with a small stone sign pointing visitors in the direction of the zoo will cost $72,000. Is that mismanagement of tax dollars in itself? Perhaps, but it’s a far cry from $3 million.