- Last Updated: 9:37 AM, July 15, 2012
- Posted: 12:06 AM, July 15, 2012
It’s the fountain of useless.
The lone drinking fountain in Louis Valentino Jr. Park and Pier in Red Hook has been bone dry for more than two years — despite the fact that the city Parks Department has been getting $4,166 a month since the early 1990s for the waterfront park’s maintenance and improvement.
“It’s terrible!” said Louis Valentino Jr.’s mother, Phyllis, 79, whose firefighter son was 37 in 1996 when he died battling a three-alarm fire in Flatlands. “You need a working water fountain — but I don’t know what else to do.”
A City Council resolution approved in 1993 established a stipend for the park’s care. Community leaders had lobbied to have the fund set up in exchange for their signing off on the leasing of nearby space for an NYPD impound lot.
Each month, the NYPD wires money to property owner Erie Basin Marine Associates, which turns it over to Parks. The agreement calls for the city to provide $50,000 annually.
“Would they divert money going to Central Park? Why is a park named after a fallen hero not treated in the same fashion?” asked Red Hook Civic Association Cochairman John McGettrick, adding that he has complained to Parks officials for years to no avail.
Those officials blamed the faulty fountain on a leaky pipe and said they were in the process of selecting a contractor to perform the “extensive” work.
Visitors, meanwhile, continue to be left high and dry.
“It’s been a hassle to not have water when it’s so hot,” said Janine Lariviere, at the park with her son, Harlan (pictured), 8. “You’re a little stranded when you’re there.”