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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Managing Director Ben Lee announced today that the City is proceeding with plans to clean up the old Ewa Mill site and replace it with a landscaped park and recreation area for community use.
Residents of the Ewa Villages community have long sought the revitalization of the area. The 15-acre mill site is primarily used for storage of surplus equipment and vehicles. The light industrial uses are inappropriate and incompatible with a residential community, Lee said.
With the City's recent settlement of its claim for the clean up of the contaminated soil, the City is moving forward to improve the area, stop any further contamination that may occur by continued storage of materials and vehicles, and create a landscaped park area for community use.
The 15 tenants in the Ewa Mill site, many of which are on a month-to-month lease, were informed on Friday by the City's property manger, National Mortgage that their leases have been terminated and they must vacate and remove all of their personal property from the site within 60 days. Two of the tenants have 90 day termination provisions in their lease and will be provided an extra 30 days to relocate. Two of the tenants are non-profit entities serving the community and will be relocated to other areas in Ewa Villages.
Some of the tenants may qualify for relocation assistance if they were tenants of the site before the City's acquisition of the property in 1992. However, "The City will not pay any relocation costs to any tenant that was involved in any way with the fraudulent relocation scheme undertaken by convicted felon Michael Kahapea," Lee said.
For tenants who do qualify for relocation assistance, the City will advertise for movers and will qualify and award the moving contracts based on the lowest bid submitted. No contracts will be awarded without the oversight and review of City attorneys in the Corporation Counsel's office. Absolutely no payment will be made unless the actual move has occurred and been verified and confirmed by the departments of Facilities Maintenance and Budget and Fiscal Services and by the City's property manager, National Mortgage.
The Ewa Community has been working with the City on various uses for the five historic buildings that will remain on the site. The four historic buildings located west of Park Road will be converted for community and recreational use as part of the Ewa Mahiko District Park improvements. The sugar mill building on the eastern side of Park Row will be designated for community use and could one day become a "Farmers' Market," an idea advanced by the Ewa Vision Group. The sugar mill building will also house the offices and construction supplies of the Ewa Villages Non-profit Development Corporation.
The City will be demolishing and clearing all the other buildings on the site. After contamination clean up, the 5 acre portion located on the western side of Park Row will be improved as part of the $4.7 million expansion of Ewa Mahiko District Park. The 10 acre portion on the eastern side of Park Row will be grassed and landscaped for recreational and community use. The courts recently awarded the City $1.3 million to remediate the contaminated soils on the site from Campbell Estate, Oahu Sugar Company and Dole Company. The City has budgeted another $1.5 million to demolish the buildings and undertake the landscape improvement of the site.
"The clean-up is long overdue. We need to stop any further contamination of the site. The City has always envisioned a park and neighborhood commercial use for this historic site." said Ben Lee.
|Wednesday, February 27, 2002|