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Akron adopts park regulations

Regulations governing the use of parks and recreation areas owned and maintained by the Village of Akron were adopted by the Village Board Monday.

The action followed a public hearing during which one resident, Mark Pearce of John Street, asked the board to reconsider closing the parks at dusk.

He said 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. might be more suitable, especially in winter when cross-country skiers and sledders might want to use the areas at night.

Pearce, who lives adjacent to Russell Park, bounded by Main, Clinton, John and Church streets, said he does endorse the village's efforts to "modify behavior" in the parks.

Donnal Folger, village code enforcement officer, and another village resident both deplored the language used by "kids" hanging out at the parks. And the latter said there is also underage drinking and fights.

Village Police Chief Richard Lauricella, in response to a question about enacting a local obscenity law, said. "You can't regulate speech [or prosecute] unless there's a threat."

The regulations include banning fighting, use of abusive or obscene language, obstruction of pedestrians or disturbance of any activities and consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages. Also dogs must be on leashes, and owners must remove any pet waste. No advertising or selling of goods or services is allowed without village permission.

Trustee E. Peter Forrestel moved for adoption of the regulations, which will be posted in the parks, including the bikepath, while noting that the board can "adjust" the new local law as the need arises.

In other business, the board:

*Heard a presentation from Keith Hawes, chief of the Akron Fire Company, about the Knox-Box Rapid Entry System, which the department will start using.

The department has spent $3,200 to buy four devices giving access to a master key that will allow entry to buildings that have a steel Knox Box mounted to the structure. The master key also can be accessed through a radio transmission sent through fire dispatch.

*Set its next regular meeting for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12, instead of Nov. 19, which is the start of deer season.

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