The County of Maui and the State Department of Land and Natural Resources completed the second day of clean-up in the Amala Place area in Kahului. County employees and contractors used heavy equipment to remove 41 derelict vehicles and 50 tons of solid waste from the area.
The Maui Police Department closed Amala Place from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. to ensure public safety during the operation. Clean-up will re-start at 7 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 22. All remaining vehicles, property and refuse will be removed by 4 p.m. tomorrow.
Social services such as access to shelter and housing services have been offered to the unsheltered consistently for several weeks. No trespassing signs were installed on Sept. 1. Two weeks later, MPD officers delivered “Notice to Vacate” letters to people remaining in the area.
“Over the past several weeks, social workers have been meeting with occupants of the Amala Place area encampment to help move them into shelter before today,” explained Mayor Michael Victorino. “This past Friday afternoon, I personally met with a group of camp occupants to explain the need for the State and County to take action. Thanks to the professionalism of MPD, everything went as planned. I am happy to report that no occupants were arrested today.”
DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife must replace the perimeter fence surrounding the 235-acre Kanaha Pond Sanctuary. The existing fence was vandalized, allowing introduced predators to kill rare native water birds that find refuge there.
The County of Maui requires unfettered access to the Wailuku-Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility to prevent an accidental sewage spill and the environmental damage it would cause.
At one point, nearly 80 individuals had been living in the Amala Place encampment. Social workers estimate that about eight to 10 individuals had remained in the area by the time work began this morning.
The Amala Place gate will remain locked until 7 a.m., Friday, Sept. 24. Access to Kanaha Beach Park will be through Koeheke/Ka`a Street until that time.