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Sharpsburg takes aim at vandalism

May 08, 2000|By JULIE E. GREENE

SHARPSBURG - Sharpsburg elected officials want to tighten security at recreational areas after recent vandalism at the town park.

Town Council members voted 5-0 Monday night to approve $1,000 in overtime for the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

The overtime will be used to have a deputy around town when the town's deputy is not scheduled and to double up on weekends.

Deputies will be asked to pay particular attention to the town park, the town pond and the big spring.

The sheriff's department has charged three teenage boys with malicious destruction of property for damage estimated at more than $300 to fencing at the town park, deputies said.

About a month ago, 32 rails in the split-rail fence around town park were broken, Mayor George Kesler said.

That isn't the only recent vandalism at the park.

There was graffiti on the plastic slide and someone tried to burn it, town officials said.

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Volunteers are being organized to keep an eye on the park, but town officials don't want them to try to approach rowdy teenagers. They'd prefer the volunteers call the sheriff's department at 301-791-3020 when they see vandalism in progress.

The town also voted 5-0 to install signs at the town park, pond and big spring listing a new set of park regulations.

The regulations ban bikes and skateboards from those areas, although bike racks will be bought to secure bikes outside the park. Council members were concerned about children falling off playground equipment and onto bikes being left under the equipment.

Other regulations prohibit glass bottles, foul language, unauthorized vehicles, alcoholic beverages and open fires. People must dispose of trash in proper containers and dogs must be on leashes and under the owners' control.

The signs also will state those areas are closed from dusk to dawn and no trespassing is allowed. The no trespassing statement will allow deputies to charge violators, Kesler said.

Councilwoman Denise Troxell was absent.

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