Marathon does part to clean up Kapiolani Park
Does the city collect fees from groups that use Kapiolani Park? If so, does the fee go to the Department of Parks and Recreation or into the city general fund? Areas adjacent to the bandstand have looked particularly torn up with deep tire tracks and compaction since the marathon and pieces of plastic ties all over. The park deserves more attention.
Answer: Parks staff had been "working closely" with Honolulu Marathon officials to repair damage caused by the December event, said Craig Mayeda, maintenance and recreation administrator for the Department of Parks and Recreation.
For its part, the Honolulu Marathon "took responsibility of restoring everything," Vice President Tommy Kono said yesterday. Thanks to volunteers, led by marathon official Ron Chun, "we were able to minimize (costs)."
The task cost $70,000, according to marathon President Jim Barahal. It included leveling the ground, bringing in new soil and gravel, and planting grass.
Kono encouraged everyone to go to the park "to see how good it is."
However, Mayeda is asking park-goers to stay away from the area to allow the new grass to take hold and grow. "We've been restricting use of the area, but we still have people going through it," he said.
Mayeda said Honolulu Marathon officials have "done their best" with a bad situation.
Damage was caused during the setting up and taking down of large tents for the Dec. 9 event, he said. "In their zeal to return the park back to the public, they lost sight of the damage they were creating."
However, Kono said the problem was the wet weather: "From the beginning of December, it rained and rained, and the ground got oversaturated with water." With thousands of marathon participants, "it made it real bad," he said.
Faced with pressure from the Kapiolani Park Preservation Society, "the soccer people" and other park users, "We went ahead and did the cleanup right through Christmas and New Year's time. We finished the project last week," he said.
It is now up to Kapiolani Park officials and the Department of Parks and Recreation "to maintain what's been done," Kono said.
Regarding fees, Mayeda said the city, "in general," does not collect fees from park users.
"Depending on the situation, we will ask for organizations to either reimburse us for extra manpower required or to directly obtain services themselves," such as paying for special-duty police, trash containers and signs, he said.
If a group requires a sound technician to operate the department's sound system, it will be charged $10 an hour for attendant services, which "does not even cover the salaries."
Any money collected, unless paid as a direct reimbursement, goes into the city's general fund.
Of all park users, Mayeda credited marathon officials for always being "very, very cooperative and going out of their way to make sure that we're happy."
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