Village agrees to shut off park light temporarily after concern from residents

Brandon Duffy
The Williston Park Board of Trustees agreed to temporarily turn off a light shining onto the park on Sheridan Avenue. (Photo by Brandon Duffy)

A small group of residents signed a petition asking the Williston Park Board of Trustees to turn off the light across from their homes, and the village has done so temporarily.

At Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting, Bernard Rauert of Nassau Boulevard presented a petition with the support of his neighbors, two of whom were in attendance, to turn off the light pointed at the playground on Sheridan Avenue. 

Rauert said that the recently placed light, which is a 250-watt LED floodlight, was initially installed to prevent teenagers from loitering at night during the summer. He also said that the floodlight did not do much to stop the teens. 

“We basically have the Police Department on speed dial,” Rauert said regarding nuisances associated with the park, which features a playground and dog park. “We were making calls at least once a week.” 

Rauert referred to the large groups, which he says can reach up to 20 or 30 teenagers, as a “ruckus.”

Alongside the noise complaints, the light is now shining directly on the houses of the residents, according to Rauert. In the spring and summer, trees were able to dissipate some of the impact on houses, but there has been little to no blockage since the leaves have fallen.

Another resident said without any type of blockage, their bedroom remains illuminated at night regardless of their blinds. 

Mayor Paul Ehrbar said he understands the dilemma and has spoken to many residents, including the ones present Monday, about the light. The village angled the light after initially installing it, although there were no blockage mechanisms attached. The board agreed to work towards installing shrouds, or deflectors, to focus the light more intensely on the playground and away from Nassau Boulevard. Additionally, the light will remain off for the time being starting Tuesday. 

“I really don’t want to take it down,” Ehrbar said. “Let’s see what we can do to make it less distracting for you.” 

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