Thursday, July 23, 2009

A response to my letter about Bennett Park

I recently wrote to the Parks Commissioner about the conditions in Bennett Park. Here is the response I received today from Jennifer Hoppa regarding the lack of water and facilities at Bennett Park since November. I'm not entirely satisfied since it has been 9 months with no signs of any action or any explanation posted at the park site, but things move slowly in the city that moves a million miles a minute. I must say that I never experienced problems with the water fountain pressure there before, in fact I thought they were some of the better, more powerful fountains around!

Thank you for your e-mail regarding conditions in Bennett Park. Commissioner Benepe requested that I respond to you directly.

As you point out in your e-mail, the water service has been broken in Bennett Park for several months. New York City Parks & Recreation has been working since November to identify the extent of water line and water main issues at the site, to develop a construction bid package for those repairs, and to secure a contractor to execute those repairs.

Parks & Recreation had been experiencing difficulties with the water line and water pressure at the site for the last few seasons, particularly in the summer. In November, the service broken down. During the course of December and January, the Parks Department plumbers attempted to repair the service, but the damage was too extensive. Pressure tests showed only 12 PSI at the water main in the area. Our plumbers then coordinated a full site assessment of the street mains with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which were found to be in good repair. In March and April, the plumbers proceeded to develop a construction bid package and secured DEP approval of the drawings for the water main repair and the possible relocation of the main tap. In May and June, bids were solicited for the repairs and site meetings were held with contractors to install an entire new water main to the street and to isolate the one one.

More recently, an approved contractor was successfully engaged and is currently securing the required permits from the Department of Environmental Protection for the water line repairs and potentially any related permits from the Department of Transportation for construction staging on the sidewalks and streets. The contractor is expected to begin work once work permits and insurance requirements are met, likely in the next few weeks. The construction duration is anticipated to take roughly two months but potentially could be sooner.

The portable toilets were provided so that bathrooms would be available on site. They will be removed as soon as the water service is repaired. In the meantime, we will work with the contractor to get them to provide cleaning services with greater frequency and our staff will work to supplement what the contractor provides.

Should you wish to discuss this or any other park issue further, please do not hesitate to contact me at 212.795.1388x300 or via e-mail at

Also, please note that we'll be doing a separate capital project in Bennett Park which is intended to exhance the play value of various spaces, address the lawn as well as the seating and ADA access at the restrooms.

Thank you again for taking the time to write and for your partnership in making Bennett Park its best.


Jennifer M. Hoppa
Jennifer M. Hoppa
Northern Manhattan Parks
NYC Parks & Recreation
Fort Tryon Park Cottage
741 Fort Washington Avenue
New York, NY 10040
T: 212-795-1388 X 300
C: 347-865-5399
F: 212-543-1020

1 comment:

  1. Her reply is eons better than what we've been told about the 215th StepStreet - which is "planned" to take at least three years. Sounds like the water might be back on in less than two!