Safety Changes Proposed For Recreation In Tarentum

By Josh Freeman

TARENTUM, Pa. –  Ideas have been proposed in Tarentum’s Borough to maintain public safety for the future of the Riverview Park, James E. Wolf Skate Park, and Grandview Elementary School.

Tarentum Borough takes care of the Riverview Park, which has been a vast recreational area for community members and visitors for years.  The park contains World War I memorabilia such as Veteran plaques, tanks, and cannons.  The Park also contains areas for the community’s youth such as a Snoopy wading pool, a concert band shell, Dreshar Stadium Baseball Park, and James E. Wolf Skate Park.  Many ideas have been proposed and are in task for future progress of public safety in these areas. 

Although beautiful visually, the all brick sidewalk surrounding the park has began to lift in certain areas due to tree roots creating hazards for walkers.  Grants for a video camera in the Skatepark have also been proposed to minimize vandalism and littering.

Grandview Elementary School is the home to most of the community youth in the area.  Ideas and progress have been made with contractors to replace the current asphalt surface of the playground with a soft rubber like synthetic material similar to the playground at the Riverview Park.  Talks have been made to deconstruct the metal hurricane fencing surrounding the playground so that an emergency vehicle would have better access of the playground in case of an emergency.

“Although the bricks in the Riverview Park have been in place for years, a change is needed to ensure the safety of our citizens,” said Ed Gutonski, a Tarentum Borough employee.  The brick work at the park is very intricate with every piece being fitted in like a puzzle with long railroad ties embedded into the ground on each side to hold them in place.  “We feel the need for a gritted concrete replacement that will perform better in all weather elements.”

The James E. Wolf Skate Park has been a hit with the youth of Tarentum since opening in the summer of 2005.  People from all other surrounding communities have also been using the park since grants are hard to come by in other municipalities.  Although it has proved to have a positive impact, it has also been a challenge keeping vandalism and left over trash out of from its high amount of use.  The Borough has been forced to shut the Skate Park down at certain times to teach kids a lesson, according to the Tarentum Borough website.

“I think the use of a video surveillance camera on the Skate Park would be a great idea because it would make kids more responsible for their actions, it’s hard to see it get shut down at certain times when responsible kids want to use it but have to suffer the consequences of others actions,” Tarentum Police Officer Evan Jankowski stated.

According the Tarentum Borough website, talks are in progress about a new soft synthetic surface to reduce scrapes and bruises. Deconstruction of the metal fencing around Grandview’s playground has also surfaced.  Debra Shiring, a resident of Tarentum and an active council meeting attendee has a nephew that attends the grade school.

“I think the ideas for the school are great to ensure the safety of the areas children,” Shiring stated.  “The overall ideas in progress here will help serve our community better as a whole.”

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