CLEARFIELD – Clearfield Borough Council heard citizen concerns regarding a park in the borough and took steps to start helping with some of those issues.
Dawn Graham, who lives on the corner of Pine and Williams streets, said she has lived on Williams Street all her life and, “I would have Novey’s back in a heartbeat.”
She said there have been issues with kids and young adults at the riverwalk and amphitheater since it was constructed and with warmer weather they are back and creating issues.
Some of the problems she spoke about include loud, offensive music, yelling, screaming, cursing, vandalism of benches and garbage containers, climbing on the building and pipes, trying to break into the electrical box and building, removing a sign that was cemented into the ground, hanging on the riverwalk sign, littering and more.
There were even three bikes thrown into the river, as well as other items, and one bike hung in a tree. Someone created a memorial garden and it has been damaged repeatedly.
She said she knows some people don’t use the riverwalk because of the kids, and the number can be as high as 15 or so at a time.
The police have been called by Graham and her neighbors, and she said when there were regular patrols, the problems decreased.
“I feel like a prisoner in my own home,” she said, adding that she cannot take her young granddaughter outside or to the river because of the language and actions of the young people.
Additionally, she said she cannot enjoy being on her porch or in her yard, and some of the kids have told her if she doesn’t like [what they are doing], she can just stay inside.
Graham said not all the kids are bad and some have come and apologized, but most don’t seem to care.
Council member Steve Harmic, who lives next door to Graham, said it isn’t a nighttime problem, that the majority of the problems are during the day.
Police Chief Vincent McGinnis said he has officers patrolling by car and foot in the area and added that they want the public to call 9-1-1 if they see a problem, or they can call 814-765-1553 and talk to a dispatcher.
There was also talk of getting cameras installed once River’s Landing is completed.
Later in the meeting, council discussed an ordinance, which will update the borough’s curfew.
Solicitor F. Cortez “Chip” Bell said the curfew would affect those under age 18 and the hours of effect will be Sunday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and Friday through Saturday, 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
He will be contacting Magisterial District Justice Morris about ensuring the ordinance is enforceable and also that the fines are appropriate before presenting the draft to council next month.
Council also voted to designate the amphitheater area as a park, meaning it will close at 9:30 p.m. each night. The boundaries will be determined via sign and ordinance.
In other business, council heard from a citizen regarding the airport and also heard warnings for citizens in the borough.
David Glass, who is a third generation pilot whose grandfather helped found the flying club at the Clearfield-Lawrence Township Airport, spoke about needing to appoint a new member for the borough and also hire a new manager.
Glass asked council to consider people who will promote use of the hidden gem in the county.
A manager will need to be appointed in conjunction with Lawrence Township.
Code Enforcement Officer Larry Mack said there has been an issue throughout the borough with people walking their dogs at night and not picking up feces.
Mayor Jim Schell also reminded residents of construction in the borough and to slow down and give yourself enough time to get places.
McGinnis also reminded residents that the police have a drug collection box for unwanted prescription drugs. He said residents can come in and drop off the drugs, call and have someone come out to their car, or even call for pick up at their homes.