THE BRONX - Washington Square Merchants Association is demanding that the city make renovations to the Owen Dolen Park and Recreation Center.

Residents and merchants in the North Bronx community say the park has been neglected for so long that part of it is condemned. They say that it has rusty railings, a broken water fountain, and a large hole in the pavement.

They especially want the complex to be renovated because underneath the park is an after school center for special needs children which has its own problems including holes and leaks in the ceiling.

During a visit to the park Monday, Bronx Parks Commissioner, Hector Aponte, says construction will begin as early as the fall. He says the $900,000 funding to fix the water fountain will come from a deal the city made with the Croton Water Filtration Plant. As for renovating the recreation center, Aponte says that more money will be needed but didn?t specify where it will come from.