Repairs made after Petal park vandalism

By HASKEL BURNS,

The basketball court across from the Petal Family YMCA on Hillcrest Loop is in good condition once again after officials repaired some recent vandalism to one of the court’s goals.

Brian Hall, director of the City of Petal Parks and Recreation Department, said he worked with Hoops Inc. company to get a new backboard for a lower-than-normal cost, allowing for the replacement of the shattered glass on the old goal.

“Hoops Inc. helped us out on pricing so we could get the backboard replaced,” he said. “Hopefully, we don’t have any more vandalism issues, so (that way) we’re able to leave the courts open.”

The new backboard would usually command a $848 price tag with shipping, but the company helped the parks and recreation department get that cost down to $432. When workers were replacing the equipment, however, they did notice that someone had apparently removed a couple of rim bolts from the goal.

“If you see someone vandalizing any of our parks, please report them to my office or the Petal police,” Hall posted on Facebook. “That isn’t being a snitch; that’s just caring about your city and parks and not wanting to see those parks destroyed or locked up.”

Hall originally addressed the backboard vandalism on May 30, after he discovered a large hole shattered through a goal on the left side of the hoop. Because of the vandalism, the basketball court was temporarily shut down for repairs, and Hall offered a $100 reward to anyone with information leading to the arrest of a suspect.

“I poured a lot of time and effort into this project and this really irritates me,” Hall said in a previous story. “Before anyone starts pointing fingers of guilt I will tell you that it appears the object that caused the breakage did not even come from the basketball court or within the fences at all.

“The hole is just where the glass fell out; the small puncture to the left of the hole is what caused it to shatter. Takes a lot of velocity for that small of an object to shatter 3/4" glass; you can draw your own conclusions from there.”

Officials were able to reopen the court the following week.

Hall also is asking individuals or teams who use the city’s batting cages, tennis courts and basketball courts to turn off the lights when they’re done, as the lights have been left on all night in a few recent incidents. Cage light switches are now marked outside of the breaker boxes for easier identification.

“The lights have been left on c couple of times,” Hall said. “Please make sure to shut them off when leaving, or we’ll have to lock it all up every night.”

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