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Brighton Beachers demand repairs to Asser Levy

Park here: Brighton Beacher Bill Baird shares his thoughts on Asser Levy Park at a town hall meeting with Councilman Chaim Deutsch March 24 in Coney Island.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

The one thing everyone agreed on is that there’s a lot of work to do.

Brighton Beachers came out to sound off about the future of Asser Levy Park at a town hall meeting convened by Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay) on March 25.

Locals repeated long-running complaints that the city has neglected the park in recent years, allowing the playgrounds to fall into disrepair, the unused bandshell to crack, and the grassy area to regularly flood.

“It’s what people see when they come into the area, and it’s what they remember when they go out of the area,” said Community Board 13 district manager Chuck Reichenthal. “And it should look a hell of a lot better than it does.”

Others pointed out that even basic amenities are in a state of severe decay.

“The bathroom is like the 19th century,” complained prominent resident Larry Savinkin.

After superstorm Sandy ravaged the bandshell in 2012, the city cried poverty when it declined to repair the derelict structure, but some in the neighborhood suspected the neglect was payback for thwarting Markowitz’s plan to build a $64-million amphitheater on the site as a permanent home for his concert series — a design widely derided as “the potato chip.”

“Marty Markowitz said to us that if his plan didn’t go through, he’d make sure not a nickel would go into that park,” said neighborhood activist Ida Sanoff, who helped lead the charge against the ex-beep’s project. “And, look, nothing’s been done there.”

On top of refurbishing the existing playground equipment and improving drainage, several residents called for creating a soccer field and even a skateboard park inside the greenspace.

Deutsch said he was happy with the result of the meeting, and plans to bring his constituent’s suggestions back to the city to see if they can be implemented.

“We had a good turnout Monday, and the community shared a lot of great ideas on how to improve Asser Levy Park,” Deutsch said. “Now it’s my job to sit down the Parks Commissioner, and determine how much each project will cost. From there, we’ll start making decisions, allocating funding, and upgrading the park over the next four years.”

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.

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