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Recreation board weighs future of small Waynesboro park

March 15, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Three members of the Waynesboro Recreation Board on Tuesday visited a small park that at least one member of the borough council would like to see abandoned.

Charles "Chip" McCammon has urged his fellow councilmen to "plant grass seed and just let the kids play on the grass" in response to vandalism at the South Franklin Street park.

That vandalism has been an unending problem, according to Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger.

He recalls the issue was one of the first things on his desk when he became borough manager in 1980.

"The park has been a bit of a maintenance difficulty," Hamberger said.

The recreation board members found pieces of the fence on the ground, and a swing and the frame of a sandbox missing. They are scheduled to further review the park situation at their meeting April 4.

When asked for the dates of vandalism occurrences, Hamberger said the borough does not track the incidences.

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"We'd probably run out of calendars," he said.

The playground equipment and fence are broken as soon as maintenance crews fix them from the prior vandalism, Hamberger said.

The park, which is less than an acre, was purchased through the Project 70 Land Acquisition and Borrowing Act of 1964. Back then it was referred to as a "postage-stamp park," Hamberger said.

He said only an act of the state Legislature would allow the borough to completely abandon the park.

However, he said the park may be modified to open space or passive recreation.

It features a wooden apparatus for climbing, slide and swing set, although the swings are removed in the winter months. A picnic table was removed after being continually abused, Hamberger said.

At night, the only light comes from a single streetlight across the road.

The most significant indicator that the property is indeed a park, and not a backyard play area, is a sign that prohibits "ball playing."

"For the folks who live there, (the park) is useful," Hamberger said.

The Borough of Waynesboro maintains a larger park with playing fields and several sets of equipment on the east side of town.

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