Last week, State Senator Tony Avella handed over a $400,000 check to Glen Oaks Village co-op to bring some much-needed lighting to the open space on 260th Street, which is home to baseball fields, playgrounds and a dog run.
Avella said that although there is now funding for the lights, there could still be some red tape before the community sees the safety measures implemented.
“Because it is lighting, it gets a little complicated because of the dual agencies involved,” Avella said, explaining that both the Department of Transportation and Parks Departments are responsible for putting the funding to use.
Lights typically run about $35,000 each, and Avella said the allocation is more than enough to add seven additional lights.
“Hopefully the city can expedite this,” he said.
As a member of the Independent Democratic Conference, he added that the capital project was made possible because of state provisions that it be delivered to a municipal project for either a city or state agency.
Bob Friedrich, president of Glen Oaks Village, began advocating for lighting in the park several months ago and said he was able to find immediate support from his senator.
“A lot of seniors do their speed walking in the park, and when the sun goes down, it’s a safe community but it is very dark,” Friedrich said. “It really is kind of dangerous at night.”
Friedrich explained that while the northern side of the park is adequately lit with seven lights, the south has been neglected and recently seen “sporadic” episodes of graffiti.
“We think lighting disparages that type of behavior,” he said. “It will be safer, it will lesson the instances of graffiti and it should just really be lit up at night. There’s no excuse for DOT and Parks not to use the money now.”