Clay Township building

When: Clay Township supervisors meeting, April 27.

What happened:  Don Moyer and Gary Calik, public works employees, notified officials of an uptick in vandalism at Snyder Community Park 1 on Clay School Road and Snyder Community Park 2 on Snyder Lane. Vandals have damaged ballfields and public restrooms, they said, and they asked supervisors to look into installing surveillance cameras at the parks.

Response: Supervisors voted 3-0 to have public works employees install surveillance cameras and signs about the cameras at the parks. Vice chair Keith Martin said he is “interested to see if that corrects some of the behaviors."

Why it matters: With warmer weather approaching, outdoor attendance will increase at the parks. Moyer said the park on Snyder Lane has seen more vandalism than the Clay School Road Park.  He said having  surveillance cameras at the parks will allow the township to capture vehicle and license plate information to identify the vandals. The incidents have occurred during weekends.

Restroom rampage: During an April 26 maintenance visit, Moyer said he found toilet paper removed from the dispensers and scattered all over athletic fields at Snyder Park 2. Moyer also found toilet paper rolls and stones clogging the toilets with signs being ripped down from the walls. Trash cans and bathroom fixtures also were destroyed.

Illegal dumping: Moyer told supervisors trash found in the dumpster at Pavilion #1 on Snyder 1 did not originate from park visitors. Calik said the public works department has found mattresses, box springs and clothing.  Chair Tim Lausch asked why the dumpster was put at the park, and Moyer responded that it was for large picnics.

Follow the signs: Martin suggested increasing signage in the parks’ bathrooms. The signs would say “this area is under video surveillance.” He said  “signage sometimes could be as much as a deterrent” as the actual cameras.

Quotable: “The signs are more important than the camera,” Martin said, adding these things work at his poultry farms. “More signs are better than fewer.”

Next steps: No final cost for the surveillance equipment was given. Temporarily, trail cameras will be installed throughout the parks. Martin said the cameras must be high enough for vandals to not reach them. Moyer said signs will be added and they will “see what happens.”

What’s next: Supervisors will meet on May 10 at the township building at 870 Durlach Road, Stevens.

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