The Quakertown Borough Council on July 6 discussed proposals to curtail rampant vandalism in local parks, including installing camera systems and increasing police presence.
According to Borough Manager and Police Chief McElree, the borough likely has spent “tens of thousands of dollars” dealing with a pervasive vandalism problem at area parks.
“You name it, it’s happening,” McElree said on Wednesday. For example, he said vandals have been defacing park property with knives and graffiti, trying to set benches on fire, ripping support posts from pavilions, destroying rails in the skate park, defecating on equipment, and police have found illicit drug paraphernalia and used prophylactics.
“Just destructive, senseless damage,” McElree said, adding that the borough is going to become “very aggressive” in addressing the problem.
McElree presented several anti-vandalism proposals at the meeting and council members will consider the options.
Council also discussed the development of a parks and recreation ordinance amendment that would authorize the borough to ban individuals from parks if they violate park regulations and borough codes. The borough will continue working on an amendment that will be proposed at a future meeting.
Vandalism “seems exacerbated in Quakertown this year,” McElree said on Wednesday, adding that people caught violating park ordinances will be arrested and charged with a crime. “There will be no warnings,” he said. “People will be arrested if they are caught.”
In addition, council approved an ordinance that sets requirements for all new construction within areas of the borough that are subject to flooding.
Also at the meeting, council approved a request for financial support from the Quakertown Swim Team to improve the sound system at their swimming facility. The borough will provide $425 for the improvements.
Council members also honored United States Marine Corps Cpl. Micah Musselman with a letter of appreciation for serving two tours in the Middle East. Musselman recently returned home from deployment in Afghanistan. On behalf of the borough, Council President James Roberts, Jr. presented the letter to Elena Snyder, Musselman’s mother.