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What you need to know for 01/19/2017

Law to ban street hoops on Amsterdam council agenda

Law to ban street hoops on Amsterdam council agenda

City lawmakers will consider a new ordinance that would make it illegal to play basketball on city s

City lawmakers will consider a new ordinance that would make it illegal to play basketball on city streets or sidewalks.

The law is expected to be introduced during the Common Council meeting tonight. Alderman Joseph Isabel, R-1st Ward, is sponsoring the ordinance, which outlaws the “use, construction or maintenance of basketball goals on city streets and sidewalks.” It also outlaws basketball goals positioned on private property in such a way that play would take place on city streets or sidewalks.

Violations under the ordinance could result in fines up to $250.

Basketball goals in violation of the ordinance could be confiscated by city workers, according to the ordinance, and the owners must reclaim them within 14 days and pay a fine of $50. Those unclaimed after 14 days would become the city’s property.

The city of Schenectady implemented a similar ordinance in April 2009 that made basketball hoops illegal on city streets.

Isabel said he has received numerous complaints from constituents who say children are playing in the roadway and will not move for vehicles.

However, Isabel said he is not completely committed to the ordinance. He has received just as many comments against the proposed law as for it.

“A lot of people are saying that we would be penalizing the kids who use the basketball hoops correctly,” he said.

Alderman William Wills, D-4th Ward, said he couldn’t support the ordinance.

“We don’t have enough recreational opportunities for the kids as it is,” he said.

Wills said the children near his house play basketball in the roadway and it isn’t a problem.

“I would rather have them doing something that, I would say, is worthwhile,” he said. “Maybe we need to think about developing small city courts in the neighborhoods so the kids can go and play safely.”

Alderwoman Julie Pierce, R-2nd Ward, said she didn’t have an opinion about the proposed ordinance yet, but said “kids playing basketball can be a good thing as well.”

The ordinance will be introduced tonight at the Common Council meeting, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Common Council Chambers of City Hall.

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