Borough officials, club members talk about Union Street playground safety

July 24, 2018

Somerset Borough officials and local Lions Club members talked Monday about improvements to the Union Street playground.

Club members came to the borough council meeting to talk about safety upgrades. The club built the park around 1930, and its members help to maintain it. Club member Sandy Upor said officers have been hitting some logistical snags when it comes to their ideas.

“We didn’t want to just give up,” she said at the meeting. “We thought maybe we should come and talk to borough council members directly. Club member Bob Thomas said there is an idea to put six cameras in various locations, with borough police officers having access to the feed at anytime.

“We were going to fund the purchase of the equipment and the installation, then the ongoing maintenance was the borough’s responsibility,” he said.

Borough officials said there are many logistical and technical issues that make a camera system not feasible.

Police Chief Randy Cox said while there were a high number of incidents in the playground around the early 2000s, the number of has been steadily decreasing.

“Since then we haven’t had that many incidents,” he said.

Cox also recommended that club members look into other safety measures, like motion-activated lighting.

Council member Steve Shaulis, who is also a member of the Somerset Fraternal Order of Eagles, said Eagles members would be willing to help with any safety project the Lions Club wants to start.

“We help wherever we can,” he said.

Lions Club members also discussed starting concession stand hours sooner in the year. Members said they get between 40 and 50 kids and adults coming each day to visit the stand between 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Borough manager Michele Enos said she is willing to communicate with club members to see what can be done to accommodate their request.

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