Tuesday, September 14, 1999

City & County of Honolulu

Not all fees
at Hanauma go to
upkeep at the park

Hannemann is disappointed
with the revenue and
how it is used

By Harold Morse


People who attended last night's information meeting on Hanauma Bay were surprised and unhappy to learn that some revenue from fees at Hanauma Bay goes for uses other than improvements and maintenance at the park.

Roy Amemiya, director of the city Department of Budget and Finance, said the money collected from entry fees at the park goes into four categories -- maintenance and operations of Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve itself, educational expenses, a carrying-capacity study of the facility, and improvements at Hanauma Bay and other parks. The $3 entry fees for nonresidents and $1 parking fees brought in about $2.1 million in the fiscal year that ended in July, he said. But $400,000 goes to pay city debt service, leaving about $1.7 million, Amemiya said.

City Councilman Mufi Hannemann, vice chair, Council Parks Committee, said the revenue from the Hanauma fees is disappointing. "We're falling way short of what we anticipated we would take in," he said. Not only that, using the funds for city debt service and improvements to other parks was not the intent of the Council in creating the fees, Hannemann said. The intent was to have all of the revenue used at Hanauma Bay, not just the lion's share of it, he said.

City Councilman John H. Felix, who called last night's meeting at Hahaione Elementary School, said it seems the Council and interested citizens need to revisit, reinvent, redesign and reconfigure the revenue-producing fees and their use. "I truly believe that we all have a common goal," said Felix, who chairs the Parks Committee. "We want to do what's best."

George Atta, chief community planner, and Steve Yuen, project design architect, Group 70 International, planning consultants for the regional park, gave a brief slide presentation on long-range plans for Hanauma.

Of the some 40 residents present, a few challenged the city's planning process. "That's nothing but smoke and mirrors," said David Matthews. Consultants listen to people and then go ahead and do exactly what they themselves want anyway, he said. "We want it to be the way we want it, not the way you want it," he said.

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