Koloa Camp residents given 30 more days

LIHU‘E — Grove Farm announced Tuesday it is providing a 30-day extension of its eviction of Koloa Camp residents.

“Ongoing discussions will continue with a few remaining tenants who need to still make arrangements to relocate,” states a Grove Farm press release.

The announcement follows a resolution passed by the Hawai‘i State Senate on Friday urging Grove Farm Co. to allow an immediate stay of eviction and engage in formal discussions with the 13 tenants of historic Koloa Camp. Residents  were scheduled to be evicted by the company on Thursday to make way for a 50-unit housing development called Waihohonu.

According to the release, one family has already moved from Koloa Camp, and three other families have secured alternate arrangements and need  additional time. But two Koloa Camp residents on Tuesday said no one is leaving or planning to leave.

“Nobody’s moving out,” long-time camp resident Doreen Jacintho said Tuesday. “The message from (Grove Farm Vice President Mike Tresler) is that only one or two people plan on staying. That’s not true. Only one has moved.”

The Grove Farm release states it will donate an existing home to one tenant, who will then move the home to a property that the family has in Anahola.

“One lady was offered the house she lives in to move it to her lot,” Jacintho said. “But to move it would cost her $200,000. She can’t come up with that.”

Although Tresler has previously said that Grove Farm’s plan is to tear down the plantation cottages, it had scheduled a walk-through inspection of the residences for Tuesday, two days prior to the planned eviction. The inspection was later canceled due to heavy rains, flooding and cleanup of the neighborhood.

“We had four firemen here checking on us during the storm, the Army Corps and police, but nobody from Grove Farm ever came,” she said.

The Waihohonu Creek overflowed, she said, and flooding submerged her car. Water crept into her garage, ruining her dryer. A tree fell onto the garage of another Koloa Camp home.

“This is the third time in my lifetime living here I’ve ever seen anything like this,” Jacintho said. “The No. 1 thing is somebody should have come and checked it out, but nobody did.”

Grove Farm has not responded to questions concerning the state Senate resolution, nor did it respond by press time Tuesday to questions concerning storm-related flooding reported Sunday at the camp, which lies in a flood zone.

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