EXCLUSIVE: Residents fed up with condition of Wahiawa District Park

EXCLUSIVE: Residents fed up with condition of Wahiawa District Park
Published: Apr. 10, 2014 at 11:42 PM HST
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WAHIAWA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Jenny Elmore's frustration hit the tipping point Tuesday night when she tried unsuccessfully to turn off a faucet in the women's bathroom at Wahiawa District Park.

"The faucet was just running non-stop," she said.

She was frustrated because she saw that faucet running two days before and she told a park worker about it.

"They tell us to save water, but yet it's just going and going 48 hours. At that rate of water flow it's a lot of water just wasted," she said.

But that's not all Elmore is upset about. Her daughter plays softball. The team practices at the park. Elmore said the players and their moms try not to go to the restroom.

"Two of the stalls, one does not have a toilet paper receptacle at all. Another one, the receptacle's broken. So even if they do try to maintain the toilet paper supply, it gets dirty and you're not going to want to use that," she said.

Then there's the gym. The city said rain got into an underground electrical line, so Parks and Recreation turned the power off. Park users complain that the gym has pretty much been closed since January.

"Fix it up for the kids. Even the older guys, help them stay out of trouble. After work they come here and play basketball," Larry Pooloa said.

With no gym, youth basketball teams had to find other places to practice and play. But not at the park. The outdoor court has no rims on the backboards. The city said it took them down because the court needs to be resurfaced.

"Why maintain it so poorly?" Elmore said.

She's also concerned about safety. A low window in the gym has broken glass a child can reach. And there's vegetation growing in the rain gutters.

"There's trees growing off the gutters. What happens when the trees get too big? They're going to break. They're going to fall on someone and someone is going to get hurt," she said.

The city said it's cleared some of the gutters and it did shut off that running faucet. It blames the bathroom problems on vandals, and promises the gym's electricity will eventually be turned back on. But it's a major job that still needs to go out to bid.

"Any time the gym was open they would have people in there," Elmore said.

She and other park users believe it's taking too long to get their playground back into playing shape.

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