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County Moving Forward With New $5.5 Million Pahoa Community Park

The Department of Parks & Recreation is moving forward with planning a new $5.5 million community park on a 56 acre parcel in Pāhoa town. On Jan. 18, members of the Puna community gathered at the Pāhoa Neighborhood Facility to talk story about the park, which will be adjacent to the Neighborhood Facility and Pāhoa Community Aquatic Center, right in the heart of Pāhoa.

Councilman Fred Blas, Parks & Recreation Director Bob Fitzgerald, and Deputy Director Clayton Honma discussed the plans thus far, and opened up the floor to find out what the Puna community would like in the park.

Suggestions ranged from a perimeter trail with room for wheelchairs and bikes, to a home field for the Puna Panthers football team, to a large gathering place to hold parties, to a disc golf course, to a venue for performing arts.

“This was just the first of more community meetings to come,” said Clayton Honma, deputy director of Parks & Recreation. “We will engage the community all through the master planning process to make sure Puna gets a great park.”

Pahoa Community Meeting on the Puna Park

Parks are great ways to maintain open space and provide gathering places for the community, Mayor Kenoi said. And as the father of three children engaged in team sports, he understands the importance of parks for youth athletics. The lessons taught by achieving goals through perseverance, hard work, and collaboration as taught on the field are priceless throughout life.

“Parks are vital to safe and healthy communities,” Mayor Kenoi said. “We look forward to completing this pu‘uhonua, this safe place for the families of Puna to get away from negative influences and engage in positive activities.”

Kailua Park Vandalized

County of Hawaii

Kailua Park, also known as the Old Kona Airport Park, was vandalized Monday night or Tuesday morning, according to Bob Fitzgerald, director of the Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation.

Fitzgerald said the locks on gates were filled with cyanoacrylate, also known as “super glue,” concrete and human waste was mixed and poured down a number of toilets near the beach pavilions and sprinkler heads were broken off at the Friends for Fitness walking track. Fitzgerald estimated damage at about $3,000, although it could have been much more expensive if the concrete had time to cure and harden.

Parks maintenance officials said a group of people was ordered to leave the park recently after some of them were seen intentionally tipping over trash cans. Fitzgerald said he does not know if the incidents are related but said the information has been passed onto police.

Fitzgerald asked that anyone seeing suspicious activity at Kailua Park or any other county facility call the police dispatch number at 935-3311.

Should anyone have information regarding this incident, call Police Sgt. Gary Souther at 326-4646, or CrimeStoppers at 329-8181 in Kona. Calls which lead to an arrest or conviction may be eligible for a reward of as much as $1,000. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to caller ID.

For more information contact Bob Fitzgerald at 961-8311

Mayor Billy Kenoi to Unveil First Increment of the $43.9 Million Kamakoa Nui Community in Waikoloa on Friday

Mayor Billy Kenoi on Friday, Nov. 18 will unveil the first increment of an attractive new community in Waikoloa that will provide affordable home ownership opportunities near West Hawai‘i employment hubs. At the same time, the mayor will open the gates to a new community park in Waikoloa.

The initial offering of eight homes within the $43.9 million Kamakoa Nui community will feature bungalows and single-family homes. The homes were designed by MVE Pacific, and prices for the new units will range from $240,000 to $325,000.

This single-family home is one of four model homes already built at the Kamakoa Nui Workforce Housing Community in Waikoloa. The community will be blessed Friday, Nov. 18, 2011. Mayor Billy Kenoi and honored guests will be on hand to untie the maile lei to Kamakoa Nui, and the county park which will be opened to the public on that day as well.

Construction of four single-family model homes is complete, with pre-sales of homes in the first increment scheduled to begin next month.

“Our working families deserve this opportunity for home ownership in a desirable, well-planned community that is close to work and recreational facilities,” said Mayor Kenoi, who will untie the maile lei at the park at 10 a.m. and do the same for the model homes about a half an hour later.

“This project benefits the hard-working hotel employees, teachers, firefighters, police officers and others who want their own home in West Hawai‘i. This is an affordable community where they can live comfortably and raise their families.”

The 23 bungalows will be one and two-story units with two or three bedrooms, two baths or two-and-a-half baths, and 1,108 to 1482 square feet of living space.

The 68 one and two-story single-family homes will have three bedrooms, and buyers will have a choice between two baths or two-and-a-half baths. The homes will have 1,361 square feet to 1,512 square feet of living space including lanais.

Kamakoa Nui is being developed by the County of Hawai‘i, and will eventually grow into a diverse community of about 1,200 rental and for-sale homes on 268 acres in Waikoloa.

“I am delighted that the model homes of the Kamakoa Nui housing project are complete,” said Steve Arnett, county Housing Administrator. “I am so proud of my staff who implemented the plans and specs to completion, specifically Dan Russell, Michael Prinslow and Annie Bailey.”

The first phase of Kamakoa Nui will include a new 12-acre county park in Waikoloa. The park features a baseball diamond designed for youth baseball and senior softball games. It will also include a new high school-regulation soccer field that can double as a Pop Warner football field.

“Kamakoa Nui Park and Housing Project is another example of Mayor Billy Kenoi’s administration working together focusing on ‘laulima’ to accomplish great things for island residents,” said Parks and Recreation Director Bob Fitzgerald.

“We now have additional field space in Waikoloa to schedule more practice and game time for teams participating in sports such as soccer and baseball. There will now be a home field for the possible start up of a new Pop Warner football team in Waikoloa.”

This bungalow-style home is one of four model homes already built at the Kamakoa Nui Workforce Housing Community in Waikoloa. The community will be blessed Friday, Nov. 18, 2011. Mayor Billy Kenoi and honored guests will be on hand to untie the maile lei to Kamakoa Nui, and the county park which will be opened to the public on that day as well.

The park also includes a comfort station, event lawn and parking, and a private group is developing a skateboard park on a designated portion of the park site.

Hawaii County has contracted with Aldridge Associates, a real estate brokerage firm specializing in the Waikoloa market, to market the first increment of the project. The project will offer financing to qualified buyers with a down payment of up to 5 percent of the sales price.

To qualify, buyers should live within a 30-mile radius of Kamakoa Nui and have an income of 70 percent of the area median income (AMI). Potential buyers must also live in the homes and cannot have owned a home within the last three years.

To discourage speculation and help to keep the units affordable, owners who re-sell their units at Kamakoa Nui within 15 years of their initial purchase will be required to share any windfall profits from the re-sales with the county. After 15 years, all restrictions on re-sales are satisfied.