New basketball court scoreboard, playground upgrades planned

New playground equipment is expected to come to three Riverhead Town parks, and a new electronic scoreboard is planned for the Horton Avenue basketball court, where the annual “Stop the Violence” basketball tournament is held.

The basketball scoreboard will cost about $4,000, with an additional $6,000 to install, according to town parks and recreation superintendent Ray Coyne. Those costs will come from the recreation department’s budget, which includes money raised from program fees and field rentals.

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said Columbia Care, which runs a medical marijuana dispensary on East Main Street in Riverhead, has offered to pay the cost of the scoreboard.

Columbia Care representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.

The installation costs could be reduced if the town’s buildings and grounds department can do the work, Mr. Coyne said.

The organizers of the Stop the Violence tournament also will donate about $2,500 that it raised through a recent fundraiser, according to co-founder Dwayne Eleazer. He said they will look for an electrician willing to volunteer his help to install the scoreboard.

Mr. Eleazer said the organizers of the tournament hope to replace the backboards at the courts with clear fiberglass ones. The current backboards are about eight years old, he said.

They would also like to start a Police Athletic League basketball program in Riverhead in the future, he added.

“Basketball doesn’t discriminate,” he said in an interview. “Everybody can play basketball.”

The tournament, now in its 11th year, will be held on August 12 and 13. Mr. Eleazer said the tournament gets bigger every year.

The equipment at the Wading River beach, aside from a swing set, was removed earlier this year because “the Nor’easters killed it,” according to Coyne.

The new equipment will cost about $50,000, including installation costs. New playground equipment is also planned for Enterprise Park at Calverton, according to Mr. Coyne, who said two parks are eventually planned for there.

The first one, which will cost about $55,000, including installation and surfacing, is intended for children between the ages of 2 and 5. It will be located between the two baseball fields at what’s now called Veterans Memorial Park.

A bigger playground for older kids will eventually be near the dog park at EPCAL, he said.

The town already purchased the equipment for the first EPCAL playground last year, at a cost of about $25,000, Mr. Coyne said.

A new playground also is planned for the George Young Community Center in Jamesport and is expected to cost just under $50,000, although Mr. Coyne said he’d trying to scale that cost down.

In each of those parks, the money will come from park and recreation fees that are paid by developers during the subdivision process, in exchange for those developments not being required to build parks in their subdivisions.

There is about $120,000 available in park and recreation fees, Mr. Coyne said.

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File photo credit: Jen Nuzzo