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Residents Want W. Wilmerding Park Closed

By Dianne Ribecca
The Tube City Almanac
February 20, 2023
Posted in: North Versailles Twp. News

Residents of Kline Avenue in West Wilmerding are asking the North Versailles Twp. commissioners to consider closing a park there following recent gunfire.

At this month’s meeting, neighbors presented the commissioners with a petition signed by 50 homeowners asking the township to convert West Wilmerding Park from basketball courts into something for families with children.

Thursday’s meeting was held one night after shots were reportedly fired during an altercation near the park. No injuries were reported, but residents said they are concerned that neighbors will get caught in the crossfire if violence continues at the park.

Commissioner Russell Saula, who oversees the commission’s Police & Public Safety Committee, said the gates to the basketball courts have been locked, and the Parks & Recreation Department has temporarily removed the hoops from the basketball courts.

West Wilmerding residents said they would prefer to see the basketball courts permanently removed.

In other business

Commissioners held a public hearing on the consideration of Ordinance 1041, drafted by Solicitor Greg Evashavik, which would allow police to issue township citations for possession of a small amount of marijuana, under certain circumstances, rather than filing criminal charges.

The ordinance would allow offenders to be fined up to $50 for a first, second or third violation. Any subsequent offenses would be charged under federal or state law.

The ordinance would be enforced by township police, but would not bind Allegheny County or state police.

Commissioners approved the ordinance 6-1, with Commissioner Sam Juliano voting against it.

Dianne Ribecca is program director of Tube City Online Radio, host of the Consumer Review Report podcast, and a member of the board of directors of Tube City Community Media Inc. She may be reached at dmribecca@gmail.com

Originally published February 20, 2023.

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