Funds limit Kewalo Park repair work
The city just fixed up Ala Moana Park, but what about Kewalo Basin Park, just next to it? All the benches are broken. When are they going to fix those?
Answer: While Ala Moana Park is under the city's jurisdiction, Kewalo Basin Park and nearby Kakaako Waterfront Park are the responsibility of the Hawaii Community Development Authority.
Last year, new charcoal bins were replaced in both parks, and more recently, trellises and comfort stations in Kakaako Waterfront Park were repainted, said Richard Kuitunen, HCDA's asset manager.
The HCDA also began identifying what improvements needed to be done at both parks, including getting new tables, benches and showers; replacing paver tiles, drinking fountains, bollards and lamp posts; repairing the revetment wall and columns at the pavilions; putting in new irrigation and landscaping; and adding railings to steps leading into the ocean, he said.
However, although $900,000 was requested for the work, only $400,000 was made available, delaying the sprucing-up project, he said.
The HCDA is in "the process of prioritizing the line items to most effectively utilize the funds that are available," he said.
But there will be at least five new concrete tables and benches installed shortly, thanks to CEP Hawaii Investors LLC, he said.
The company, owners of the nearby Gold Bond Building, "were kind enough" to donate the tables and benches during renovation of the building, he said.
Although natural wear and tear is partially responsible for the condition of the park facilities, Kuitunen also noted problems with continual vandalism.
He also pointed out that HCDA's jurisdiction over Kewalo Basin Park begins just past the former mammal laboratory, where the roadway leading to the park turns to the right.
The state Department of Transportation's Harbors Division oversees the area mauka of that.
Kuitunen said Transportation has been asked to power-wash the walls at the entrance fronting Ala Moana Boulevard.
Meanwhile, the charter school Halau Ku Mana is constructing a native Hawaiian garden in Kewalo Basin Park.
The garden will serve "as an educational experience for their students and will provide a lasting educational and focal point for future park visitors," Kuitunen said.
You can find out more about the school at www.halaukumana.org.
To the very kind Honolulu Airport employee who generously allowed me to use his cell phone on the morning of May 18, when I needed to find out if my young niece had boarded her flight safely. I didn't have my own phone with me and was asking around for change in order to use the pay phone. I'm so sorry for interrupting his breakfast and hope he also receives the same aloha he gives to others. -- Grateful Lady in the Maroon Muumuu
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