LIHU‘E — The county is estimating about $90,000 in repairs and clean-up for ‘Anini and Anahola beach parks after a year of consistent use.
The county’s Department of Parks and Recreation found picnic tables “damaged beyond repair,” rotted shower points, hypodermic needles, as well as fruit and vegetable plants, overgrown vegetation and dug-up areas, Deputy Director Wally Rezentes Jr., said. The money will come out of the department’s budget.
“The figure estimates labor hours, contract equipment rentals, supplies for park maintenance (park caretakers, heavy equipment operators), facilities maintenance crews (carpenters, plumbers, electricians), and park ranger crew members,” Rezentes said.
About 20 staff members worked on cleaning up the parks for about three weeks to clean up left-behind campsites, repainting the bathrooms and more to restore the beach parks.
In March 2020, the county designated these two beach parks, as well as three other county-owned campgrounds, as Shelter-In-Place zones, allowing for a permitted campsite the houseless community could utilize during the COVID-19 pandemic that had access to running water, bathrooms, showers and social services.
At the end of March of this year, these county-owned campgrounds closed this program at ‘Anini and Anahola. In its last month of use, there was a permitted 78 at ‘Anini and two in Anahola.
The clean-up at ‘Anini is ongoing, Rezentes said, and continued clean-up in Anahola will continue once the crew is finished there.
“We anticipate work to be completed by the end of the week,” Rezentes said. “Signs are posted throughout the park advising park goers that cleanup is in progress.”
Some of the work already completed include electrical repair work to lights and lines that were damaged, plumbing repairs, pumping out the septic system and repairing and replacing some of the picnic tables.
The volunteer group Kalalea collected green waste and other debris at Anahola Beach Park after park crews cleaned the area at the beginning of April.
“Once we finish with the Anini cleanup, we will go back to Anahola and remove the debris,” Rezentes said.
Two months ago, the county also installed a new shower system into ‘Anini Beach Park Boat Ramp.
Camping permits for ‘Anini and Anahola beach parks will be available on April 30. Permits cost $2 per person, per night, with fees waived for Hawai‘i residents and children 17 and under.
“We are looking to restore the park, so the general public may once again use it,” Rezentes said.
At the end of this month, Lucy Wright Beach Park in Waimea will shut down.