Nether Providence Township, Pa., is very particular about how and where money is spent. Working within an annual budget of $1.3 million, nine employees regularly self-perform projects to ensure their department’s fiscal success.

They just renovated Sapovits Park’s most popular attraction: one small, kid-size and two full-size basketball courts.

Having gone more than 30 years without major repairs, the original wood and sheet metal backboards were splitting. Paint had faded. Crews replaced nets, backboards, rims, poles, and fencing; repainted lines; and graded and repaved the 9,000-square-foot site with asphalt.

“Watching kids and adults enjoying something we completed makes it all worth it,” says public works director Darryl Dixon, who’s worked for the department for 24 years. “Safety has improved with the better system in place; high standards on equipment allows for residents to not worry about rusty rims or loose poles.”

The renovation cost $18,000.

Now the department’s job is to maintain the spiffy new courts. Annual maintenance will include replacing nets, repainting lines, and general checks for loose bolts or wear and tear.