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Washington Township officials deal with problems at Pine Hill

May 01, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Faced with several problems at Pine Hill Regional Recreation Area, the Washington Township Supervisors are considering installing an entrance gate to close off access between dusk and dawn.

The supervisors recently received a note from a police officer who said he has had trouble getting people to leave the park at dusk. The municipal police go the facility to close the gate every evening.

Early estimates are that the new system, with two 12-foot wooden arms, would cost about $8,000. People could exit the park but not enter after a designated time.

"It's the least expensive way to go for an automatic gate system," Supervisor John Gorman said.

Neighbors of Pine Hill have attended supervisors meetings in recent months and complained about activity at the Mentzer Gap Road park after posted hours.

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"The electric timers attach to (the controller) to keep it open for a certain time, that's what operates it," Supervisor Carroll Sturm said. A photo cell with light sensors can override the timer, he said.

On Wednesday, the supervisors also talked about temporarily shutting down the Dunlap Family Skatepark at Pine Hill as a warning to skateboarders who don't wear helmets.

"I don't want to penalize everyone, but if that's the only way you can get the point across ..." Supervisor Christopher Firme said.

Posted regulations state that skateboarders must register with the township and wear helmets when using the new skatepark.

"It's been adults, none of the youngsters (violating the rules). They are 25- to 30-year-olds who are downright arrogant," Township Manager Mike Christopher said.

Officials said they will continue to call the police when violations are spotted, then consider closing the park as punishment in the future.

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