Mayor expresses concern about vandals in downtown park

“We have never ever, despite what people have said in the paper, we’ve never ever told the young people they can’t be in this park,” said Tyrone Mayor Patricia Stoner on Friday.
The mayor made the comments in reference to the downtown City Hotel Park. She said she observed about 40 young people in the park when she returned to the downtown area from a social function earlier in the week.
On Friday afternoon, she along with Interim Borough Manager Sharon Dannaway and Borough Secretary Kim Murray engaged in cleanup efforts at the park after it had been left littered and damaged.
The mayor mentioned the park was recently pressure washed and Murray said she had picked up cigarette butts. However, by Friday afternoon, the park was found to be littered again with cigarette butts and damage had been done to banisters and the doors on the porch at the park.
“This is totally ridiculous because they are destroying this park,” said Stoner. “We had eight rocking chairs that the people, especially at the high-rise, enjoyed immensely, four of those are totally out of commission, they are $200 a piece.”
She said the borough was able to put four of the chairs back together but wasn’t sure how long they would last.
The mayor gave The Daily Herald a tour of the damage which had been done to the park. Damage was observed which showed marks on the door, a dented area near the bottom next to the door, decorative knobs missing from the bannisters and markings on the bannister. The mayor said the flower pots had been “used as punching bags.”
The mayor said, “We had tobacco spit all along the floor (of the porch), they were spitting tobacco and letting it run down. We are going to do something, we have never told them they are going to have to stay out, but the time is coming when they are not going to be allowed in here if they don’t know how to take care of it.”
Borough officials said the chairs had been damaged last year and they had planned to put the ones which had been salvaged out for the Memorial Day weekend but decided against it after observing the latest damage.
There was also a third-party report made to police that some youngsters had climbed up onto the roof and were observed there recently. The borough has a security camera installed at the park. Police Chief Joseph Beachem said, “(We) pulled the tape and are trying to get IDs on some people for possible pending charges.”
Beachem said most of the damage at the park has been found by police or other borough employees such as the highway department going in to clean it up.
“We want the park to be available for everyone but at the same time we can’t have it being destroyed,” said Beachem.
The mayor did not outline an exact course of action the borough will take to eliminate the problems at the park but she did indicate the matter would be addressed at an upcoming council meeting.