Tare E. Buck
An ongoing loitering problem at Thurmont Park could be
fixed as easily as putting a chain across its entrance at dusk, Mayor Martin
Burns said this week, but he also fears that those who use the park after dusk
may be unnecessarily turned away.
For the second week in a row one resident came to the
town council meeting to decry loitering at the community park.
She said teenagers and others flood the parking lot at
night, squealing their wheels when they finally do leave and making a general
ruckus that leaves her awake most nights.
"Show some presence there," Cathy Miller, who lives
near the park, requested of Thurmont Police Chief Terry Frushour.
Chief Frushour said there have been similar problems at
the park in the past.
"A loitering law would be hard to enforce," he told the
townís leaders when asked if a new and improved loitering ordinance would fix
"If younger people are just sitting there talking, you
canít just ask them to leave so older people can come in and do the same
thing," the chief said. "How do you tell one group they can be there and
another group they canít? ... Whatís a park for? That has to be defined."
Mr. Burns suggested that two posts be put up at the
parkís entrance to enable a chain to be strung across at dusk when the park
closes. He said the chain may deter those who use the parking lot for purposes
other than actually using the park.
Thurmont police Sgt. Shawn Tyler said the chain "would
curb a lot of it."
"Their big thing is to watch traffic," Sgt. Tyler said
of those who hang out at the park most nights. "They watch the cars go by."
He said if a chain was added to the parkís front
entrance, the parkers would likely skip the back entrance since their main goal
is to watch the townís heavily traveled Frederick Road.
"Itís cheap and, if that doesnít work, we can try
something else later," Mr. Burns said of his solution. "I think the least
restrictive thing should be first."
In other business, Thurmontís council learned that
Guardian Hose Co. must purchase signs from the State Highway Administration in
order to properly block Md. 17 and Md. 77 and create detours in the event of
parades. The signs, about $150 each, are mandated by the state. Guardian
expects to need 13 of them, which adds up to at least $1,950.
Because the town is likely to need the signs, too,
members of Guardian asked if the town is willing to split the cost.
Town leaders made their plea over the public access
airwaves for generous donors to perhaps pick up some costs or sponsor signs.
The town council will discuss the signs again if donations arenít made and come
up with another solution.
On Monday the town will hold a public hearing to
discuss the proposed water and sewer fees. On Tuesday the town will hold its
regular weekly meeting.
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