LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Taxpayers are frustrated. Memorial benches in Long Beach are being mistreated and falling apart due to people using them for exercise.
Now, officials are making an attempt to fix hundreds of them, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Tuesday.READ MORE: Walker Scores 19, Knicks Romp To End 15-Game Skid Vs 76ers
There are 900 benches on the scenic two-mile boardwalk. Of those, 300 are said to in disrepair.
“It’s scratched. It’s faded. It’s broke. There’s screws exposed. There’s tar. I’m sitting in some kind of stuff here,” resident Louis Tancredi said. “It’s a shame they let these things deteriorate to this condition.”
Tancredi’s grandson, Skyler, drowned in 2006. The family invested $3,000 in a memorial bench in his honor. But over the past few years, it and multiple other benches — many dedicated to local 9/11 heroes — have been marred and broken. The family has asked City Hall for help, but so far nothing has been done.
Michele Sherry Mosca said her family is blessed. Her brother John’s battered bench was just repaired after the family reached out to the city.READ MORE: Flames Use 4-Goal Outburst In 1st Period To Beat Devils
“They never found my brother’s remains, so therefore this was a beautiful place to come and remember him,” Mosca said. “To be able to sit by his bench in front of the playground where kids play and enjoy — he had two young boys at the time, Johnny and James, and it’s a peaceful place.”
Long Beach officials said many people are using the benches for exercise, jumping on them, stretching, even skateboarding across them, McLogan reported.
“They have exercise facilities along the way, so they should use those instead of benches,” resident Valerie Ashe said.
“People do hold a lot of sentimental value. A very tight-knit community down here, so it’s unfortunate,” resident Brendan Reilly added.
Officials said 75 benches have been repaired so far and the city is ordering additional materials in the next six weeks to fix more benches after the summer season. However, it’s doubtful all those dedicated to 9/11 victims will be fixed in time for this year’s somber anniversary.MORE NEWS: New York Weather: CBS2’s 10/27 Wednesday Morning Forecast
The City of Long Beach is urging people who use the boardwalk to respect the benches and to refrain from using them as exercise equipment.