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Fort Greene Park Lights Go On in Daytime and Go Off at Night, Locals Say

By Janet Upadhye | December 6, 2013 10:01am
 Neighbors complain the timers on lights surrounding The Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument are not working.
Fort Greene Park Lights
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FORT GREENE — Lights surrounding the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene Park burn bright during the day and go dark at night, wasting taxpayer dollars, residents say.

The Department of Parks & Recreation recently promised to fix the problem after months of frustration by the community.

"We are aware of the lighting issues in Fort Greene Park and we have been working to resolve them," Parks Department spokeswoman Meghan Lalor wrote in an email to DNAinfo New York on Wednesday. "We expect the monument to be lit by week's end, and hope to have the other lights fixed shortly thereafter."

The problem appears to be a sporadic one, as the lights go on and off erratically, residents said.

Ken Stier, who has been pestering the Parks Department since September to fix the problems, said he's skeptical that the lights will be fixed and plans to start a petition soon to call attention to the issue.

"Infuriatingly, this is our Parks Department [wasting] taxpayers money," he said.

In an email Stier wrote to the Parks Department on Sept. 17, he complained, "This morning — about 7:30 — not only were the lights around the visitors center on so were the high-powered lights focused on the monument — which was already ablaze from the rising sun. The four inner square ‘street lamps’ as well. Actually I have seen this many times."

On Oct. 30, Parks and Recreation Manager Michael Lavery wrote an email to Stier blaming the broken lights on work taking place on Washington Park — a street that borders Fort Greene Park.

"Utility work...at the end of last week caused a power failure throughout Fort Greene Park and some surrounding blocks. This erased the settings on the timers. I have requested an electrician to come correct them," he wrote in an email.

Lavery did not say who was conducting the work or specifically when it took place.

Officials from ConEd — who do the majority of utility work in the neighborhood — said they were not responsible for the problem, and referred all calls to the Parks Department.