Denver Borough building zonepic

Denver Borough offices, located at 501 Main St., Denver.

When: Denver Borough Council meeting on July 25.

What happened: Borough Manager Michael Hession presented a draft ordinance addressing rules and regulations within the borough’s public parks, including the prohibition of vaping, air guns and electric bikes. The ordinance addresses current issues the borough is experiencing in its public parks, such as vaping becoming more common. Currently, vaping is not mentioned in the rules and regulations. Smoking tobacco is prohibited. Air rifles are prohibited. Hession told council there recently has been a move toward smaller air guns rather than air rifles, hence the name change. As for electric bikes, Hession reported there have been some concerns regarding speed. The ordinance would allow for motorized bicycles only when given permission from the park and recreation department in advance, such as for planned events. “You wouldn’t be able to just move through the trail system at 35 miles an hour while people are walking there,” he said.

Enforcement: Council showed favor for the updates and changes, and discussed modifying the signs in the park to include vaping, as well as a local nonemergency phone number that can be used to report violations. If the ordinance is approved, anyone who violates the rules when it comes to smoking and vaping will be ejected from the park. Upon conviction, they are subject to paying a fine of no less than $25 and no more than $600, plus the cost of prosecution. Before any action is taken by council, the ordinance will be advertised and made available to the public. The plan is to have the ordinance go into effect toward the end of the summer.

K-9 unit: East Cocalico police Chief Darrick Keppley discussed the idea of establishing a K-9 unit for law enforcement services. Kepply would model the unit after one in Lititz Borough, which has had a K-9 unit since 2020. The primary functions for the canine unit would include police patrol, search and rescue and drug interdiction. When asked if drug trafficking is a problem in northern Lancaster County, Keppley said there are drugs moving through the community on the Route 222 corridor between Lancaster and Reading. Hession said the department plans to hold a fundraising campaign. Program funds would be raised primarily through donations from individuals and businesses, but some costs would be borne by the township. Expenses for the program include training for the dog and officer handler, and outfitting a squad car for the canine, which costs upward of $90,000, according to Keppley. The officer paired with the dog would be offered training for about five weeks. The program could begin within one year of when donations commence, Keppley said, based on other departments’ experiences with K-9 programs. The plan ultimately would require township approval.

Other business: Council unanimously approved a partnership between the borough and the Denver Sharks swim team to paint a new mural, a shark, on the wall at Denver Community Pool. The borough will provide paint and supplies. Council also approved the creation of a handicapped parking zone on the south side of Main Street.

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