On Saturday morning the city announced plans to revitalize the aging and contaminated Ewa mill site with a park. It's an idea that got tabled when housing director Michael Kahapea became embroiled in the biggest fraud in city history.
The junk and toxins that have plagued the area for years will be cleared out for what the city will call the Ewa Mahiko district park. Neighbors are excited about the announcement but are not counting any chickens before they hatch.
Ewa villages resident Laleinia Santa Maria says the area stinks.
"It's slimy, it's cold, it's disgusting. It's not a nice view for us to see."
Santa Maria's daughter Brittaney agrees with her mother.
"Yucky. It's all dirty and it looks disgusting," said the 11-year-old.
The city will spend $7.5 million into clean up, demolition, and landscaping. Currently, the 15 acres of land are home to 15 businesses from truck repair to welders. They'll all be making way for the city's ambitious plan to turn the industrial area into a park, with soccer fields, tennis courts, and a swimming pool.
"Our time schedule is one, to vacate the tenants by November. Demolish the structures as soon as possible, grass and landscape the area hopefully by April or may of next year," said Ben Lee City Managing Director.
The city is attempting to complete the work that was supposed to be done years ago by former city housing director, Michael Kahapea. He was convicted in the Ewa villages scandal for bilking the city out of $6.8 million for moves that were never made.
"We have basically revised the procedures so there is absolutely no opportunities for misuse or collusion of city funds," added Lee.