Riverbank State Park and Esplanade Gardens in Harlem among city’s worst water deadbeats

Riverbank State Park tops the list of water deadbeats with a $7.6 million bill dating back to 2000. Esplanade Gardens, an apartment complex at W. 147th St., owes $1.1 million.

Riverbank State Park in Harlem owes the city a lot of green.

Riverbank State Park in Harlem owes the city a lot of green.

A West Harlem state park owes the city a lot of green.

Riverbank State Park tops the list of water deadbeats with a $7.6 million bill dating back to 2000, records obtained by The News via a Freedom of Information Law request show.

The state has made costly improvements at the 28-acre public park since it opened in 1993, including $5.2 million for a new artificial turf field, boiler and gymnasium floor in 2012.

The site above the Hudson, meanwhile, boasts an ice rink, Olympic-size pool, 800-seat cultural theater, 2,500-seat athletic complex and a 15-seat restaurant — nearly all of which require water for maintenance or use, officials said.

“To have let this go 14 years without a resolution is irresponsible,” said Dick Dadey, executive director of the Citizens Union, a government watchdog group. “The fact that the city and state can’t resolve this impasse is shameful.”

State parks officials have been fighting with City Hall for more than a decade over who should cover the bill for the park, which sits atop a sewage treatment plant near Riverside Drive.

Meanwhile, it continues to be the worst water scofflaw in the city, outpacing the Big Apple’s second-place offender, Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn, which owes $5.9 million.

“We are working with the state to take a fresh look at several issues in order to resolve past differences,” said a city Department of Environmental Protection spokesman.

It remains unclear why the state believes the city should be picking up the tab for the popular Harlem park, given its location above a massive state wastewater treatment plant.

“We are working with DEP to resolve old differences and move forward in a strong and productive partnership,” said state Parks spokesman Dan Keefe, who declined to elaborate.

Continue Reading

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s