NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Many people who use Brooklyn’s Prospect Park are furious with the city over a lack of working water fountains.
The city promised it would install four fountains that don’t freeze in the park by Thanksgiving. But now winter’s here, and they’re not even close to being done, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported Wednesday.
A construction site is not what runners were expecting to see come the new year. After all, it was water flowing from fountains that they were promised. Signs show work should have been done by the end of the third week of November.
“I think it’s accountability. If you say something is going to be done at a certain time, it should be,” walker Sharon Kindell said.
The Prospect Park Alliance announced months ago it would unveil freeze-resistant drinking fountains. So far, only one of the four is usable. It it’s located by the Vanderbilt Playground.
“I hope the city and everyone really puts a priority on getting all of them working ASAP,” Prospect Heights walker Richard Goldstein said.
Goldstein has been walking around the park for 40 years. He said he was looking forward to extra relief this winter season.
“I would even say it’s critical to have it because you have people that get dehydrated, even in the winter. They are dressing very warmly, and they are sweating,” Goldstein said.
The $175,000 project was funded though the District 39 participatory budgeting initiative. Runners said it’s a hefty price tag for equipment that isn’t being used.
“It’s very disappointing, especially for that amount of money,” one runner said.
“If we are paying for this and they are making promises and they’re not keeping them then that’s a problem,” runner Sean Mosher-Smith said.
Traditional city drinking fountains are turned off from November until April to avoid freezing pipes. The new ones can handle the cold, but the installation can’t. In a statement, the Alliance says:
“We were optimistic to complete work on the fountains this fall. One of the four fountains was installed by Thanksgiving, a second is nearly complete (we are just completing paving), and are moving quickly ahead to complete the rest of the fountains. Please note that this project is not simply installing the fountain, but excavating deep beneath the ground and installing new plumbing lines and concrete foundations, which require decent weather – rain and freezing temperatures have delayed this work. We will be excited once these fountains are installed, as they will serve the park well for years to come – just a reminder that in Prospect Park, traditional drinking fountains are turned off in November, and not turned back on until April. These fountains will provide the public with drinking water for four additional months of the year.”
All that said, some plan to remain patient.
“Once they’re there, it will be nice and we will all forget about it,” Prospect Heights runner Gabriel Dorlsz said.
Most say a promise is a promise and the city needs to hurry up.
Once complete, Prospect Park will be the first city park to have these types of fountains. Organizers have yet to specify when they will unveil the remaining three fountains.