Weissport Council announced on Tuesday night that it is in the process of developing a park ordinance that will include an application form for use of borough property for fundraising events by the public.
For a small borough, Weissport has a very picturesque town park that is ideal for holding events to raise funds for charities. The park is the focal point for the Weissport Redneck Festival that will be hosted for the fifth year on Sept. 1 and Sept. 2, plus it is used two times a year, in May and September by Weissport Recreation Committee to hold community yard sales.
Funds from these events funnel back into Weissport to help provide recreational activities for children of Weissport residents, such as building a playground, gazebo in the park, Easter Egg hunt, Christmas party and Halloween Safety Night.
Recently, outside groups have made requests to use the park to hold fundraising events for charities not associated with Weissport.
Last August, family members and friends of the late Cody Wentz held an event in the Weissport borough park to bring awareness to the growing drug problem in the Lehighton area.
The Cody Wentz Memorial Walk and Festival was coordinated by Cody's mom, Lisa Shiffert. The event raised approximately $3,000 and the proceeds from the event recently were donated to the Lehighton High School drug program in memory of her son, Cody Wentz, who died from an overdose of drugs on Nov. 29, 2010. He was 19 years old.
While the event started with a walk along the canal in the morning, in the afternoon it progressed to the Weissport Park where a band performed for free. The group held a Chinese auction, bake sale, food sales and raffle in the park.
Shiffert hopes to make the event an annual event because the problem with drugs is worst than anyone realizes in the area.
Also using the park last year was a group of individuals who were forming a Lions Club. Since then the Beltzville Lions Club has formed and chartered on Sept. 20, 2011.
Council members also discussed cleaning out the run, a drainage ditch that takes excess water to the Lehigh River.
Tim Rehrig, council member also questioned whether a Lehighton individual should be filling in soil along the edge of the Lehigh River.
Council president Gene Kershner also wondered how filling in the flood way will affect Weissport's levee in a high water event.
Kershner said that he plans to discuss the issue with Chris Storm of Carbon County Conservation District.
Council also purchased a steel door and deadbolt for the borough secretary's office.
Council also discussed a safety issue where a resident's home is inhabitable due to no heat.