Locals Furious Over Mahoney Park Renovation- Lack Of Community Input Cited
"None of my phone calls were returned. The treatment has been very shabby, the attitude uncaring.”
Ground was broken last Thursday morning, marking the long-awaited asphalt-to-turf renovation of Mahoney Playground on Jersey Street in New Brighton Staten Island. City Councilwoman Debi Rose and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe were among the attendees. The City is installing yet another artificial-turf field in a park. Local residents complained they were never consulted on the renovation project.
On a sunny, cloudless summer day last Thursday morning, ground was broken in an official ceremony marking the long-awaited “asphalt-to-turf” renovation of Mahoney Playground on Jersey Street in New Brighton, according to The Staten Island Advance.
Phase 1 of the project, with a $1.7 million price tag, includes a state-of-the art synthetic-turf youth soccer and mini-football field, as well as two basketball courts, spray showers and misting stations, swings, drinking fountains, benches, and trees.
....a lot of grumbling was heard from long-time neighborhood residents, before and during the ground-breaking event.
“None of the neighbors knew about this,” said Evelyn Marshall, who has operated a day-care center on Crescent Avenue since 2000.
“It should be more kid-friendly,” said Kevin Greene, who lives on St. Mark’s Place. “This is like an adult park,” he said, after looking at the large, detailed schematic plan that was on display.
“This is a lot of crap,” fumed Donald McCombs, who lives on nearby Winter Avenue and said that he has organized programs for kids in Mahoney Park for the past 15 years.
“They shut down the park in June, and we were never notified. I put in permits with the Parks Department, and they were denied. None of my phone calls were returned. The treatment has been very shabby, the attitude uncaring.”
One flashpoint for local residents is that the renovated park will have only two basketball courts. “We used to have six courts here,” said McCombs, “before they put in the mini-pool in the 1980’s.”
Gloria McCombs, another local day-care-center operator, was furious. “They never asked what was important to us. They never talked to us. We have basketball tournaments here — we’ve been fighting for years to get lights and more basketball courts. They should have had a community meeting.”