Downtown Hilo homeless camp dismantled; no arrests

  • Michael Brestovansky/Tribune-Herald Crews dismantle unpermitted structures on a downtown Hilo lot.

The county removed unpermitted structures from a downtown Hilo lot this morning, dispersing several occupants who were using the property as a homeless camp.

Punahoa Street, between Ponahawai and Mamo streets, was blocked off by police this morning as the county moved in on a homeless camp that has grown on a lot behind Agasa Furniture and Music Store since last year.

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At 6 a.m., Barrett Otani, executive assistant to the Mayor Harry Kim, hailed the occupants of the lot, giving them one hour to collect their personal belongings and leave the area. The occupants did so without any resistance, and crews from the Department of Public Works and its Highways Division began dismantling the unpermitted structures on the site.

No arrests were made during the operation, said police Capt. Kenneth Quiocho, nor did the owners of the lot make an appearance.

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Otani said the remains of the unpermitted structures will be discarded. Personal effects remaining on the site can still be collected after 6 p.m. tonight, and that the concrete slab illegally installed on the site cannot be removed until personal effects have been claimed. If all personal belongings are not collected after a certain deadline — likely 30 days, he said — they will be discarded.

See Friday’s Tribune-Herald for more on this story.

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