NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - New Rochelle parks have become a destination for residents to “recharge” in more ways than one with the installation of charging stations and benches in the city.
This week, New Rochelle officials announced the arrival of several “Soofa” charging stations and benches that will be installed in local parks to provide patrons the opportunity to enjoy some sun without the stress of a diminishing cell phone batteries.
The outdoor stations and benches will use solar power to charge electronic devices through a USB cord - especially useful in an age of battery-draining games such as Pokémon Go.
“This is one part of our broader effort to position New Rochelle as a forward-looking city,” New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson noted. “(We’re) ready to compete successfully for the residents and businesses of the future.”
In total, the city acquired two ‘Soofa' charging stations with benches attached and a pair of additional charging stations that have been installed next to two existing benches. The stations can be found at Huguenot Park near the Children’s Library, Ruby Dee Park at Library Green and at Flowers Park.
Ralph Dibart, the New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District Executive Director said that this is just the latest effort to modernize the city through projects funded in part through the New Rochelle Local Development Corporation. The fourth station will be placed at the entrance of the pedestrian bridge at North Avenue and Burling Lane upon its completion later this year.
“By offering free Wi-Fi and other cool features, the ‘Soofas’ are a perfect compliment to the BID’s efforts to spur activity and business in our downtown.” he added.
New Rochelle City Councilman Ivar Hyden added that “the colorful benches combine both form and function as gathering spots that offer a fun and sustainable way to utilize free, ‘smart technology.’"