Public swimming pool on Lana'i to reopen - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Public swimming pool on Lana'i to reopen

Lanai's hotels aren't the only landmarks getting a makeover.

Hawaii News Now has learned that Ellison plans to reopen Lanai's only public swimming pool, a popular gathering place for everyone from little kids to senior citizens.

Ellison's representatives met with Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa last week where they talked about Ellison's plans for the Lanai City pool, which was closed more than three years ago amid massive budget cuts by the island's past owner.

"They currently are in the process of opening up a swimming pool that the people of Lanai have wanted for some time," Arakawa said in a telephone interview with Hawaii News Now. "Basically, what they shared with me is that they want to be cooperative. They want to be able to be community oriented and be aware of what the community needs are."

Castle & Cooke, Lanai's former owner, closed the pool in 2009 along with the island's only theater.

Butch Gima, president of Lanaians for Sensible Growth, met with Ellison's two representatives. He says reopening the pool is just one of several community projects already underway.

"Besides the pool I mentioned, they have done some work on the theater, they paved the Hulopoe Beach Park parking lot because it was full of potholes and it was all bus' up. They committed 10 million dollars to the water system infrastructure."

Gima, who's organization has sparred with Castle & Cooke and its Chairman David Murdock over the development of Lanai, said he's cautiously optimistic about the island's new owner. Gima noted that Ellison's representatives plan to meet with local community groups in the coming weeks.

"Definitely, Ellison has a lot more money to infuse into the island than Murdock did," Gima said. "It's $3 billion versus $36 billion. It's night and day."

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