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Palmerton park vandalism prompts discussion on skateboard ordinance

Published April 27. 2012 05:01PM

Vandalism at its borough park has prompted Palmerton Borough officials to contemplate the potential implementation of a skateboarding ordinance.

Council Vice President Chris Olivia broached the subject before borough council on Thursday, at which time it was agreed community input on the matter was welcome.

Borough Manager Rodger Danielson said skateboarders have damaged many benches in the park.

In 2010, local businesses and residents of the Palmerton area sponsored 109 benches through the Palmerton Concourse Club Bench Project. The new benches are colored red, and replaced 70 green benches.

Councilman Kris Hoffner asked whether there were other areas in town for skateboarders to partake in the activity.

Danielson said skateboarders do utilize other recreational facilities in the borough.

"They do a lot of skateboarding over at the Third Street basketball court," Danielson said. "It's not necessarily your responsibility to find a place for them."

Council President Terry Costenbader said he understands the concern.

"The problem is they're doing damage to the park benches that were placed there," Costenbader said. "They spent a lot of money, and to see it torn up, I can understand that."

Olivia said he was in favor of a skateboarding ordinance.

Hoffner stated "if the vandalism does not stop, we have no choice but to pass an ordinance."

Councilman Jason Behler said skateboarding isn't the only issue at hand.

"There's tons of things not being enforced in the park," Behler said. "There are more issues than just skateboarding in the park."

Hoffner said the borough takes great pride in its park.

"The park is the focal point of our community," Hoffner said. "It's gorgeous."

Councilman Jeremy Barbosa said "that's where a bike would solve a lot of those problems."

The bike Barbosa alluded to came on the heels of a discussion brought forth by Hoffner, who said a borough officer recently expressed interest to him in being a bike patrolman.

"Delaware Avenue would be conducive to that," Hoffner said. "I think it's a great idea that he brought up to me."

Mayor Brad Doll said he believes there are between two to four officers "who would do it in a heartbeat."

Also on Thursday, council adopted a resolution to submit the West End Recreation Improvement grant application.

If the borough were to receive the grant, Danielson said it would be used to purchase playground equipment.

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