Rocketship Park has had some work done. The little park whose official name is Clifton H. Lee Memorial Park had some new fencing installed recently, according to an update in the May 18 Port Report newsletter sent out by Port Jefferson village.
Although no exact figures were immediately available, the village has begun to put aside money each year to maintain all of the village parks, including the once .
A back in February reported that the price of a 4 to 6 feet high fence was estimated to cost between $15,000 and $18,000.
"It is the first effort in a plan to upgrade the park including new lighting, and either repair or replacement of the playground equipment," the Port Report story said.
Called the "forgotten park" at a board meeting last year, residents still enjoy the play area but have complained about vandalism and the dilapidated state of the equipment.
Resident Jeff Potter complained about busted equipment and continual vandalism during an October board meeting.
Constable Chief Wally Tomaszewski said at the meeting that numerous appearance tickets had been given out for quality of life issues at Rocketship Park to keep the damage and misuse at bay.
At the time, the village was exploring potential solutions to the ongoing vandalism including light sensors.
Village code officers lock Rocketship Park every night along with all other village parks, according to Tomaszewski. The parks are patrolled until they are off duty. He said Code writes tickets when they find people trespassing and drinking in the park.
Once complaint about the procedure came from Trustee Larry La Pointe.
“I know you lock the park but it’s a three foot high fence,” he said.
In the meantime, the village is looking at different avenues to improve the park.
"We are exploring all issues on grants and available funding to improve the park," said Trustee Adrienne Kessel by email.
Kessel recently met with Quenelle Rothschild, the designers of Harborfront Park. Because of budget constraints, she asked for a two-phase proposal for improvements.
"Our intent is to improve the parks accessibility, equipment, lighting and security," she said. "Unfortunately, vandalism is an ongoing issue."
Ideas proposed so far include a more natural appearance for the park with shade trees, walkways and a water fountain.
"We'll see what other ideas develop," Kessel said.
What do you think? How can the village improve the security and appeal of Rocket ship Park?