Video by Visionary Video, voice of Stephanie Salazar
KOHALA COAST, Hawaii – New vehicle entry fees for nonresidents and tour vehicles visiting Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area were collected for the first time on Monday.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of State Parks is contracting with a private company – Republic Parking – to handle the new policy.
Nonresident vehicles will now be charged $5 … commercial tours will have to pay according to the number of passengers, which will range from $10 to $40 dollars.
Officials say its not a money making venture, but rather an offset to revenue shortfalls – the fee is expected to bring in about $16,000 per month. The state spends nearly $720,000 a year to operate the beach park. About $460,000 goes to the County for contracted lifeguard services.
Residents don’t seem to mind the new fee, but they did say they would like to see the money go towards park maintenance.
The maintenance of the park has been an issue for Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi. He has lobbied for a bill at the state legislature that would transfer Hapuna Beach, as well as Mauna Kea State Park, out from DLNR and into County control.
It appears those measures will go nowhere this year, having been deffered in House Committee.