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A resident told North Versailles Twp. commissioners this month that he’s concerned about people who are hunting deer close to Fairhaven Park.
During the public comment session at the October meeting, the resident said some bowhunters are parking their cars inside the park, near the baseball field, before going into the woods. Some hunters even trespass in the neighbors’ back yards, he said.
On at least one occasion, he said, he found a “gut pile” near the basketball court from someone who had cleaned a freshly killed deer. The resident told commissioners he is worried about the safety of kids playing in the park and people walking their dogs.
Commissioners said a “No Hunting” sign can be placed at the park and said the township could begin locking the gates near the baseball field during the off-season. That way, they said, residents and children would still be able to use the park, but hunters would not be able to use it for parking.
In other business:
Township Solicitor Greg Evashavik reported that he had prepared an ordinance providing for township police to cite people for possession of small amounts of marijuana and possession of marijuana paraphernalia. The commissioners will consider the ordinance at next month’s meeting.
Currently, persons found in possession of small amounts of marijuana must be charged with a misdemeanor crime under the state’s statutes. If the township adopts its own ordinance, people found to have small amounts of marijuana or have marijuana paraphernalia will be charged with a summary or non-traffic citation offense.
Many other municipalities — including the City of Pittsburgh — have adopted similar local ordinances.
Commissioners authorized police Chief James Matrazzo to apply for a grant through Allegheny Police Chiefs, Inc., to purchase body cameras for police officers.
Township officials said the nonprofit organization was authorized to receive a $550,000 grant through the 2022 Byrne Discretionary grant program. The funding from the $550,000 is then distributed to provide body-worn cameras and other technology to over 100 municipal police departments in Allegheny County. The program was named for Edward Byrne, a New York City police officer killed in the line of duty.
Commissioners approved an application for federal Community Development Block Grants, or CDBG, funds to replace drainage catch basins through the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development.
A motion was passed to authorize township Manager Joe Varhola to invest $1.5 million of the township’s savings from a bank into the Pennsylvania Local Government Investment Trust, or PLGIT. Township officials said the PLGIT investment will enable North Versailles to accumulate more interest income than a bank pays.
Dianne Ribecca is program director of Tube City Online Radio and a member of the board of directors of Tube City Community Media Inc.
Originally published October 26, 2022.