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September 25, 2016
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Of playgrounds, ballfields, proms, and ‘drag’ races

The April 8th meeting of Honesdale Borough Council opened to a room packed with citizens patiently waiting their turns to address the council and its officials.

The first citizen speaker referenced a recent accidental drowning in the borough, requesting that the borough place prominent signage at the site of the drowning to indicate that swimming is prohibited and that dangers exist in and around the water. Expressing concerns about the speed of drivers on Main and Church streets, she observed that many drivers seem unaware of the law requiring them to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks; she requested appropriate signage on those streets. Thanking her for her concerns and suggestions, the council informed her that Church Street is too narrow to permit that type of signage.

The Greater Honesdale Partnership proposed a solution to the speeding problem on Main and Church Streets: speedminders to be financed by a gender bender (drag) race through town. Prominent male citizens of Honesdale will be required to don dresses and sneakers (just not the high heel variety) to race through town on Friday, July 19, between 6:30 and 8 p.m. Wigs, make-up and hats are nice optional touches. Purses, however, must be carried by each racer.

Five women from the organization Leaps & Bounds announced that they had raised over $100,000 to build a public playground designed to provide accessibility for children with physical limitations and other special needs. As mothers of special needs children themselves, they’ve long known that their children have different requirements than “normal, able-bodied” children. But they noted that no playgrounds in the borough currently meet those requirements. They asked the council if it would be willing to identify one or more properties suitable for their playground, giving assurances that they expected the special playground to be open to all children. The council asked for the architect’s plan, and agreed to work with the group.

A representative of the local water company testified to his company’s reluctance to abide by the draft Knox Box Ordinance requirements introduced at last month’s meeting, asserting that the safety of public drinking water far outweighed any benefits that might accrue from reduced fire risk. The council conceded that his concern was a legitimate one and agreed that the draft ordinance be revised to permit some exemptions. To allay general fears about the security of the lockboxes themselves and in response to a question about multiple building entrances, the fire chief produced a small lockbox and demonstrated its use. It looked like a miniature safe and could hold up to 16 keys, making it unnecessary for any building to contain more than one lockbox.

Discussion about renaming the field used by Honesdale Little Leaguers (to satisfy insurance policy requirements) ended with the decision to assign it a generic name. Honesdale Little League Baseball Complex was suggested.

The mayor announced that Wayne Highland’s May 4th prom-goers are encouraged to assemble beforehand for photos and refreshments around the fountain in Central Park.