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Hoops fix-up delay

No game: The Ditchek boys, Brandon, Ronny, and Sammy, would love to play basketball at the court near Mac Kenzie Street in Manhattan Park — too bad there’s no hoop.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

The overhaul of the basketball courts at Manhattan Beach Park which was supposed to begin this fall has been pushed back to spring, and politicians and neighbors are wondering what is taking so long.

The Parks Department says the two courts near Mac Kenzie Street, which have been locked up for years, will be refurbished this spring because of difficulty in obtaining asphalt in the cold season — but neighborhood stakeholders say the work should have been done three years ago, when the money to fix it was allocated by Councilman Michael Nelson.

“How hard is it to lay pavement and put up some hoops?” said Theresa Scavo, the chairwoman of Communitb Board 15. “Three years is a little ridiculous.”

Chaim Deutsch, Nelson’s chief of operations, said a big wait for a little project is nothing new when the Parks Department is handling the money.

“It’s anything Parks does, any type of capitol project has a three year lee time,” Deutsch said.

Park’s representatives countered that funding for the project wasn’t received until 2011.

That flies in the face of Nelson’s records, which show a $100,000 transfer to the Parks Department in 2008, and an additional $400,000 in 2009, according the Nelson staffer Deborah Weiss.

“They’re completely wrong,” said Weiss.

During the long wait, hoops have been unusable, according to Scavo.

“The gates have been locked for years and years,” said the Community Board 15 chairwoman. “There are no back boards, no hoops, the entire surface area is entirely broken. There’s nothing there.”

The $500,000 renovation will including new pavement, hoops, backboards, fencing, and color seal coating according to Meghan Lalor, a spokeswoman for Parks.

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

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