BELLE VERNON – The borough mayor said he found a homeless teenager living in a local park.

Mayor Gerald Jackson said the 14-year-old was recently found living in Ted Kuhn Memorial Park, and several other children also appeared to be living there without shelter.

“My dad and I have been feeding them for the past six weeks, but we need to reach out to other organizations for help,” Jackson said at the borough council meeting this week.

Jackson said parents and family members need to be more responsible in caring for their children, noting he recently found a 4-year-old boy wandering down the street and followed the child back to his home.

“It was very sad,” the mayor said. “It was a cold morning and the little boy was hugging his teddy bear as he was walking downtown.”

Jackson said the child’s father said he fell asleep and the boy left.

“When I told the boy’s father what happened, he said he would be giving his son a whipping. I told him, ‘Don’t do that. Just tell him what was wrong about that,’” Jackson said. “Anybody could have picked that boy up. Parents need to be more responsible. I’m going to contact some of the Fayette County people to see what we can do.”

In other business:

  • Council members voted unanimously to advertise an ordinance that would restrict hours of operation for borough-owned recreational facilities. The ordinance would carry a $250 fine, up to 90 days in jail or both.
  • Council member Rick Saxberg reminded residents to change their smoke alarm batteries when daylight savings time ends Nov. 3. The Red Cross provides free smoke alarms, but residents must contact the borough’s municipal office to have the alarms installed.
  • Jackson announced that trick or treat will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Oct. 26 following the Halloween parade. Light Up Night is scheduled for Nov. 29, starting at 6 p.m. at the fire hall.

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