Just this year, there have been two fires reported at the school and multiple incidences of minor destruction.

By: Lauren Fitzsimons

Trumbauersville Borough Council and concerned residents discussed an ongoing problem with loitering and vandalism at the local elementary school at the May 5 meeting.

Just this year, there have been two fires reported at the school and multiple incidences of minor destruction.

In addition, people have been observed at all times of the night loitering on school property. Some of them old enough to drive, even park their cars in the school parking lot.

The problem, borough officials say, stems from the fact that the school closes on Friday nights and no one occupies it again until Monday morning.

The lack of supervision makes the location exceptionally vulnerable to vandalism and other acts of mischief and a prime target for loitering.

"We'll call the state police and ask if they can double their efforts in going by the school," Mayor Al Haynes said.

But, although an increase in police presence may deter loitering, more stringent measures must be taken.

"We do not have an ordinance that establishes a curfew," Council President Ed Child said, "so we couldn't have someone taken away for being there at 1:30 in the morning."

Furthermore, the school district must post "no loitering" signs on the premises for the police to effectively address the issue.

Child directed the borough's ordinance committee to look into establishing a curfew, but says nothing can be done by the borough regarding proper signage at the school.

"I think the school district, the school board, needs to assume some responsibility in this," Borough Secretary Larry Smock said.

Council member Fred Potter agreed. "We should write a letter to the school board indicating that we have had a number of problems that they have been alerted to including various fires and vandalism," he said. "My suggestion would be to have them hire a security guard, and have him be there two or three nights a week."

The presence of someone inside the school on random nights, Smock said, would make anyone think twice about hanging around outside the building.

With that, Child authorized Smock to draft a letter to the school containing the concerns and suggestions discussed.

In the meantime, the borough advises residents to be diligent and contact police if they observe any suspicious activity.

A second issue addressed at the meeting was the future of the Trumbauersville Recreational Activities for Children program.

TRAC, as it is referred to, is an annual four-week summer program provided free of charge to those who live in the borough.

Children, ages 5 to 12 years, participate in a multitude of outdoor activities, group events, and minor excursions alleviating the boredom that can set in during the month of July.

Because of the decreased availability of the current director, the program is to be only three weeks long this summer.

In response, council believes it is necessary to explore hiring a new director along with the usual two assistants hired each year.

Details will be posted throughout town, including borough hall and the local post office.

Following these discussions, council officially accepted the resignation of member Scott Thomas.

The resignation, effective immediately, leaves an open position on council that will be filled by appointment. Interested parties will be asked to submit a letter to the borough for review.

Another position, vacant due to recent resignation of Jack Kauffman, is that of the borough code enforcement officer.

After the resignation, dated for the end of May, the borough will begin advertising the open position.

The next Trumbauersville Borough Council meeting will be held on June 2 at 7:30 p.m.

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