This weekend Bristol Press reporter Lorenzo Burgo told us about an ongoing problem in the lower parking area of Hoppers Birge Pond Nature Preserve. Complaints ranged from noise and loitering after dark to possibly illegal activity. Despite neighbors’ repeated calls for action and visits by the Bristol Police, the problem has gone unsolved for months, according to Dave Marcil, who lives across the street from the parking area.
And, we’d guess, with spring’s arrival, the situation is only going to get worse. It is common for individuals to sleep in the area until the early morning and leave behind various illegal items that are later cleaned up by neighboring residents, said Marcil. Typical complaints includeissues such as loud noise, music at excessive volumes and people drinking in the park - the last of which is specifically prohibited by a city ordinance.
A request for adequate lighting to deter illegal activity and loitering has taken longer than expected to be addressed.
At least, that’s what all parties told Burgo.
In June of last year, the parks department purchased and installed a light pole in the parking area that was connected by an underground power cable. However, the light never became operational because Eversource had an issue with the buried cable, parks department’s superintendent Ed Swicklas told Marcil.
Meanwhile, Mitch Gross, a spokesman at Eversource Energy, said, “We are in touch with the city of Bristol regarding the light you brought to our attention. As the light is owned by the city, we have to coordinate repairs with them,”
Yes, this is a minor concern- that is, unless you happen to live near Birge Pond or until something more violent occurs due to the environment we allowed to continue. This is a quality of life issue, and these neighbors - and our community - deserve a solution.