Cameras to curb vandalism
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Brenna McAndrew, 7, sits on a metal bench at the Ginder Field playground in Summit Hill. Three of these benches are in the park, but vandals have stolen one of them, even though it was chained to a tree.
Vandals are causing destructive and expensive problems at the Ginder Park playground in Summit Hill.
As a result, Summit Hill Borough Council said Monday it will purchase surveillance cameras and have them installed.
Chief of Police Joseph Fittos urged council to buy cameras good enough to identify the people doing the damage.
Jodi McAndrew, chairwoman of the Summit Hill Recreation Commission, described some of the damages.
She said a metal bench chained to a tree was stolen (the chain remains wrapped around the tree), five swings and their chains were removed, a cooking grill was tossed into pine trees and electrical components were torn out of a storage building.
In addition, litter especially iced tea cartons are strewn over the area.
"We're applying for grants to get these parks upgraded," McAndrew said. "Without security, what's the point?"
She said vandalism had occurred last year and in previous years.
Councilman Michael Alabovitz said security cameras have been discussed in the past and urged that they be purchased as soon as possible.
The rest of council agreed and Alabovitz will present more information next month.
Last fall, McAndrew pointed out other vandalism to the playground:
• Swings have been broken.
• A newly installed ride was broken to the extent that it now presents a potential safety hazard.
• Shingles were torn off a pavilion that was constructed as an Eagle Scout project.
• Holes were made in cinder blocks on one building.
• A bathroom has been destroyed.
On a more positive note, McAndrew said two new toy diggers have been purchased for the Bill Black Park (playground) at a cost of $1,693.37. The money came from various fundraising efforts of the Recreation Commission.
In other business:
• Brian Horos was hired as a full-time police officer. Horos is an officer with the Lansford Police Department.
He was one of six applicants for the position. All of the applicants were tested by the Police Civil Service Commission.
• Shawn Nunnemacher of Lansford was hired as a part-time patrolman.
• A woman complained that the ordinance requiring local police to enforce noise complaints at barrooms isn't working.
Before the ordinance was enacted, the Pennsylvania State Liquor Control Board investigated complaints.
The woman said she made four complaints to the police about noise at one hotel.
She said when hotel patrons see police arrive, they reduce the noise until the police leave.
Fittos told the woman to keep filing complaints with the police. He assured her he will look into the matter.