Several Mount Vernon seniors upset with delay in bocce center reopening

Some seniors in Mount Vernon are demanding the city reopen a building where they once played bocce.

News 12 Staff

Jul 27, 2021, 9:46 PM

Updated 1,054 days ago

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Some seniors in Mount Vernon are demanding the city reopen a building where they once played bocce.
The sport is a bowling game of Italian origin and takes place locally at a senior center at Hartley Park in Mount Vernon.
Due to the pandemic, the city closed down all senior centers at the beginning and they haven’t reopened since.
Emmidio Licursi and friends have played bocce for more than 15 years. 
"This place for us is something, we have a good time,” says Licursi.
The bocce players who spoke with News 12 say city officials promised to reopen the center three months ago after making improvements, but never did. They say they have nowhere else to go and nothing to do.
"We stay home, fight with the wife, go shopping, that's the time we spend,” says bocce player Vito Lembo.
A spokesperson for the mayor of Mount Vernon issued a statement saying repairs to the building have already begun. "We acquired some paint to start the process of painting. The intention is to provide a space and recreation for all seniors, and we're doing our best given our present constraints."
Some parents who take their kids to a playground right next to the bocce center are also upset that it's closed.
"They have to go home at a certain time, they can't get in… everything is locked,” says Robin Lewis, of Mount Vernon.
News 12 is told that before the pandemic, about 10 to 15 seniors would frequent the center daily at Hartley Park to play bocce.


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