CBS2 Demands Answers; Pakrs Department Says Problems Will Soon Be Fixed

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It cost $750,000 to install two water fountains in Isham Park in Inwood, and now the fountains don’t even work.

As CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reported, people at the park in the Upper Manhattan neighborhood said something does not add up.

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Nearby residents said they were thrilled when the city Department of Parks and Recreation decided to slake their thirst for two much-needed water fountains in the park. They are the only water fountains anywhere in the historic park, located west of Broadway between approximately 211th and 214th streets.

But after years’ worth of construction at the cost of three quarters of a million dollars –- which also included some irrigation systems for park maintenance – nobody was happy that the fountains were not working.

“Water, please come out,” Juiek Buttgench of Inwood said as he bent over the fountain. “We need the water.”

And that is not the only problem, resident said. One fountain also doesn’t even have a button to push for water – just an empty hole where the button should be.

The other fountain does have a button for operation, but no water comes out – there is just a drip at the bottom.

Curiously, it is only the portions of the fountains intended for humans that do not work. The spigots toward the bottom that were installed for dogs work just fine – on both fountains.

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But parkgoer Louis Tara said he was not interested in drinking like a dog.

“If I have a drink of water, I have to lay down. I can’t. I’m too old. Only kids can go down,” he said.

The question that many residents wanted answered was how such a thing happened.

“That’s not really a job done. And government or the parks paid them to do it, and nobody cares,” said Buttgench said.

CBS2 asked the city Parks Department for Answers. The department said the fountains have not been completed yet, and that the project experienced a few delays due to the harsh winter this past year.

The Parks Department said another reason for the delay was that the community called for a section of the overall project to be redesigned.

As for the missing operation button on one fountain, department Assistant Commissioner for Communications Sam Biederman said: “The button was one of the parts that had to be special ordered. There were some supply difficulties.”

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The Parks Department assured CBS2 the water fountains will be completed and working by the end of the week – Friday. Many residents said they will be watching.