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County to improve Hanalei Baseyard

HANALEI — The Hanalei Baseyard project will break ground later this month, following a planning process that included input from several community organizations, according to county officials.

Improvements and additions to the county Department of Public Works site include a new main building, garages, office and storage space for the county Department of Water and Hanalei’s first public playground in 30 years.

“This is in the Wai‘oli area, just across from the Wai‘oli Church,” Project Engineer Chuck Finlay said last week during a virtual public meeting about the project. “Our goals are to reduce the risk of exposure to flooding events and heavy rains, as well as to just generally improve the facilities for the workers and equipment there.”

The new structures will be painted in “Hanalei green” and feature pitched roofing, he said.

The DOW became involved with the project to improve its local operations, according to county Project Manager Michael Contrades.

“Currently, they do not have space to store materials and supplies,” Contrades said. “When it’s needed to service the North Shore, they actually have to drive back to Lihu‘e to get supplies at times. But with the new building, the Department of Water will be able to respond more effectively and efficiently to the needs of the North Shore community.”

The playground will front the baseyard in a space adjacent to the Hanalei Neighborhood Center, surrounded by a white picket fence and shaded by a large mango tree already there.

A local nonprofit, The Hanalei Initiative, will purchase the playground equipment using $94,000 in funds raised by the community.

Residents voiced disapproval of the county’s apparent denial of a swingset in the project’s final plan, at Thursday night’s meeting. However, when approached by The Garden Island for comment on Friday, a county spokesperson said “the swingset will be included.”

Officials expect construction to begin in mid-August. The work is expected to last nine to 10 months.

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Scott Yunker, general assignment reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or syunker@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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