HILO — Kona Councilman Dru Kanuha wants to make sure people go to — not on — the beach.
Expect a cleaner lua at Banyan Beach, also referred to as Banyan’s surf spot, now that the county has doubled the cost of its contract to keep a portable toilet there.
Kanuha has been paying $4,800 annually from his council contingency relief account to put the facility at the beach after the county administration said there wasn’t enough money in the budget to pay the rental and cleaning contract.
“This was my duty to have this facility put in for an area that has a lot of public activity,” Kanuha said of the popular surf spot.
“Let’s keep this going,” he added.
There is no permanent restroom facility in the area, and Kanuha has been concerned about environmental impacts and the health and safety of beachgoers there.
The county has found money to pay the annual rental for this year, so Kanuha is adding another $4,800 from his District 7 contingency relief fund so it can be cleaned twice weekly instead of just once.
“I wanted them to clean it more often,” Kanuha said. “When there are days of good surf, and there are a lot of people down there, it’s not fun to have a bathroom there that has a week’s worth of use.”
The County Council unanimously approved the use of the contingency fund Wednesday. The Council Finance Committee on Tuesday approved a transfer from the general fund to pay the other $4,800.
The contract is handled by the Department of Public Works.