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Princeton Park Board looks at strategies

PRINCETON — The Princeton Park Board will review its crisis management plan to make sure things are in place in the event of an emergency.

At Monday’s board meeting, Princeton Park District Executive Director Elaine Russell said the park district does have a crisis management plan which was recently reviewed. The plan was last updated in April 2010. After reviewing the plan, Russell said she’d like to have an addition in place which would deal specifically with a lockdown situation.

In discussing the crisis management plan, board President Gene Englehart said the crisis management plan needs to be reviewed by all the staff, so everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency. After last week’s shootings at a Connecticut school, he’s sure every teacher and school in the country are reviewing their security plans, he said.

Board member Dick Volker suggested the staff should have periodic drills to implement the emergency plan. Having patrons see the staff implement the emergency plan will help give patrons more confidence in the staff and the plan. People can’t get too comfortable about security, he said.

Board member Dennis Nink agreed, saying a periodic drill would not be meant to upset patrons but rather to help inform them of the plan which is in place.

After further discussion, Russell said she would continue to review the crisis management plan, look at possible lockdown policies and bring the information to the board in January.

In other business at Monday’s meeting, the park board approved a rate increase for Bureau County Metro Center memberships. The increase is $3 for single member categories, for both residents and non-residents, and $5 increase for multiple person categories, both residents and non-residents. The membership rate increases will take effect Jan. 1.

Several years ago, there had not been a rate increase for nine years, Russell said. At that time, the board agreed to review rates on an annual basis to help keep up with expenses at the Metro Center. The board did not implement an increase last year.

Also, Superintendent of Parks Keith Scherer gave an update on the recent vandalism at Zearing Park.

As reported last month to the board, four night lights were damaged at the new concession stand in Zearing Park. Two of the lights were destroyed, and the other two were cracked. Also there was some damage to a drinking fountain and other damage to a light in the older section of Zearing Park. Since that time, damage to another drinking fountain has been found, Scherer said.

The total cost to replace/repair equipment damaged by the vandalism is projected at $3,550. A suspect has been caught by authorities, Scherer said.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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