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Basketball court project goes out to bid, solidifying a plan proposed in July 2021

Village by: Chrissy Ruggeri, January 11, 2023

A basketball court improvement project that will improve the Cow Harbor Park court, pictured here, and the surrounding landscape, has been put out to bid approximately 18 months after it was first proposed to Village board members.

The long-awaited bid packet for the “Northport Cow Harbor Park Basketball Court and Landscape Improvement” project was released on the morning of January 6 and will remain open to bidders until January 31, 2023. The basketball revitalization project was first presented to the Village board in July 2021 by members of the Northport High School 1995 Long Island Champion boys basketball team, which includes project leaders Doug Trani, Chris Wiebke, Greg Dunne, Rob Sanicola and Tom Radman.

The project plan up for bid, available to members of the public to review at the Northport Village Hall front desk during business hours and to bidders via USB drive, includes a five-page rendering prepared by J.R. Holzmacher P.E. The proposal calls for a 3,300-square-foot basketball court finished with “sports master sport surface finish,” masonry bench seating with lighting, a 550-square-foot rain garden, a black vinyl-coated chain link fence to run along the back and street-side of the court, and a 2,809-square-foot walkway to run along the harbor-side of the court.

The planting schedule included in the bid packet includes both native and non-native plantings, several of which were not in the original rendering completed by the Laurel Group with recommendations from the Northport Native Garden Initiative. Additionally, the landscape schedule calls for 27 Manhattan Euonymus, a non-native hedge that will run along the back perimeter of the court.

The resolution to move forward with the project passed unanimously at the January 3 Village Board of Trustees meeting. The board authorized Mayor Donna Koch to issue bids for the public work necessary to complete the project, with a secured donation of $65,000 from the 1995 Team’s public GoFundMe campaign and a $75,000 grant awarded to the Village by Senator Jim Gaughran.

Before the resolution passed, Northport resident Susan Suvall expressed her disapproval of moving forward with the court project during the public participation portion of the meeting. She asked Mayor Koch and the trustees to consider pausing until they have an “overall view on what we want our parks to look like and what plan would serve the greater good of the community,” Suvall said.

“A public hearing was called; unfortunately the public was never heard because an agreement had been made; a decision had been made to go forward with the court in a somewhat scaled down version,” she said. Suvall expressed her disappointment that no visuals were presented at the public hearing, and said that “very few people” are aware of the project and it has not been well publicized. “I wonder how many people want to play basketball?,” she asked, and questioned whether or not there’s enough parking for players.

Suvall also stated that the project was misrepresented, in her opinion, because some people who donated to the project did not know it was anything more than a refurbishing of the existing court. “I don’t believe we’ve done enough homework on this issue,” she said.

Mayor Koch responded, saying, “I believe that people were notified, the public was aware. We did have a big meeting up at the [Northport American] Legion, where individuals on both sides of the court were heard.”

“I think it’s a project that needs to move forward. I think we hashed it out quite a bit,” Mayor Koch added, noting that the proposed court was much larger when she took office and that both sides have since agreed to reduce the size of the court and the overall scale of the project. “The Village – this administration and the last administration – has done due diligence in getting the word out about this basketball court,” she said.

Upon news of the Village moving forward to put the project up for bid, Doug Trani, a leading member of the 1995 team that made this revitalization possible, told the Journal, “We are excited that the project is now out to bid and we are making progress. We are hopeful that kids in the community will be playing on the court this summer.”