Located directly across the street from Public School No. 4 on 66th and Hudson streets, Washington Park is usually crowded with children playing on the park’s swingsets, jungle gyms and basketball courts. However, since this park is located on a hill and contains steps leading to different levels, it creates problems for the residents living behind it on Hudson Street.
According to Angela Defino, a resident on Hudson Street, her backyard and basement flood when there is heavy rainfall because of the park.
“The water was up to my waist,” said Defino about last September’s flooding in her basement.
Perhaps this is the reason that the West New York Board of Commissioners voted Sept. 20 to renovate the park. “It will be a complete renovation,” said Commissioner Gerald Lange. “We are working toward fixing it permanently.”
The commissioners awarded a $1.09 million contract to Dakota Excavating Contractors.
When Hurricane Floyd hit last September, Defino found that her home was damaged from flooding that was coming from the park.
“The water was coming in like a river,” said Defino, who had to throw away many of her belongings because of water damage.
Defino said that her basement window was broken from the pressure of the water.
“My window is still boarded up,” said Defino. “It might happen again.”
However, Lange said, “It shouldn’t happen again. We are hoping to alleviate the problem.”
Defino said that she had to open all of the drains of her garage to let the water out of her garage and basement. She said that it took months to let everything dry out.
Stephanie Adams, another resident on Hudson Street, said that she also remembers having flooding.
A new park
According to Lange, construction on the park will begin within the next 30 days. Plans for the renovations will include leveling off the property and adding a new volleyball court, fencing and a playground.
“We will make it as level as best it can be,” said Lange, who also said that a new drainage system will be added in the renovation. “Instead of four or five different levels, we are going to make only one or two.” Defino agreed with the commissioner saying the water drains into her yard instead of into a pipe located on 66th Street.
The park renovations are expected to be finished early next summer.
“It will be real nice when it is finished,” said Lange.