July 26, 2012
Hon. Adrian Benepe
New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
The Arsenal, Central Park
New York, NY 10021
Dear Commissioner Benepe,
Recent news reports have indicated that there have been at least four instances in the past three weeks where beachgoers and lifeguards have been injured by syringes found lying in the sand. It is unacceptable that the individuals and families that recreate on City beaches should be exposed to these kinds of health hazards.
The Council has worked very hard throughout the last few budget cycles to ensure that beach and park maintenance programs were fully funded. Most recently, we restored $31 million to the Fiscal Year 2013 Parks Department budget—the full amount that was requested by the Parks Department—so it is troubling to see that despite our efforts the Parks Department is citing its budget as a contributing factor in these incidents.
My colleagues and I at the Council expect the Parks Department to take immediate steps to ensure that syringes and other health hazards are removed from City beaches. We look forward to hearing what the Department’s response will be to this situation.
Chair, Committee on Parks and Recreation