New Florence council tries to determine who's in charge of playground
A question of who should control the New Florence playground sparked a heated discussion at last week's council meeting, resulting in the resignation of recreation board President David Sheriff.
Council President Kelly Luther said council members have been reviewing the agreements and leases the borough holds with outside groups. When council members could find no paper trail outlining the history of management of the playground and athletic fields at the corner of 13th and Chestnut streets, they began to ask questions.
Although there's no official paperwork, Sheriff said the management of the playground passed from the borough to the local Lions Club via a gentlemen's handshake five decades ago.
This also means the Lions Club has collected rent money that's paid by families to hold reunions and birthdays on the property.
Councilwoman Sharon McGinnis said she's concerned because the borough owns the property, pays the electricity bills and carries its liability insurance.
The Lions Club has also held liability insurance for the property through its national organization, according to Sheriff.
Borough Supervisor Donald “Bobby” Ludwig has maintained the property using Lions Club and borough equipment, he said.
A third group, the borough's recreation board, also got involved several years ago when the community was approached by Ligonier Valley School District for the use of the athletic fields.
The recreation board collected that rental money, but stopped receiving any income two years ago when the district ended its agreement for the baseball field rental.
To further complicate matters, borough officials recently learned that state law dictates that recreation boards' checking accounts should be managed by borough officials, a practice that has not occurred in the past.
“There's just too many groups involved,” McGinnis said. “We should be controlling the money because we pay everything dealing with the playground.”
“Let's, at least, be reimbursed for what we're putting out financially,” Councilman Don Jones added.
Councilman Roger Sheriff said he doesn't want council members to add management of the playground to their already lengthy list of duties.
“Council has enough to worry about than to worry about which family or group is renting the property for an event,” Sheriff said. “I say, let the rec board handle it.”
David Sheriff said he felt if the borough took the control of the playground out of the recreation board's hands, there's little point in having the board in the future.
Luther said council doesn't necessarily want to assume the responsibilities of the recreation board.
Ultimately the discussion ended without any resolution when David Sheriff wrote out his letter of resignation at the meeting.
“It's an ongoing issue,” Luther said. “We're trying to find out what's going on, and how to move forward from here.”
Council members are hoping to meet with other recreation board members.
The next New Florence Borough Council meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13.
Jewels Phraner is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-1218 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ligonier plans holiday events
- Grassroots organization promotes hunting to boost state economy
- Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center dedicates outdoor center
- Hollow Tree Players prepare for fall theater performance
- Ligonier Township planners begin review of revised ordinance
- Laurel Valley’s Kids Korner provides clothing for families in need
- Likely no tax hike for Ligonier Township