SMITHSBURG, Md. (WDVM) — Tuesday night’s Smithsburg Town Council meeting stirred up controversy in the public when rumors of kids not being allowed to play basketball in their neighborhoods started being spread on social media. However, that is not the case.
“The stress about this entire Nuisance Abatement ordinance that the town is working on is not just solely about basketball hoops,” said Smithsburg Town Council Vice President Donnie Souders. “Excessive rubbish, trash, campers, construction materials, it’s a litany of things. I wish the general public would understand that again, we’re addressing a concern raised by citizens to the police department. We’re looking at it from the public safety point of it, and also looking at it from a town’s aesthetic’s point of it.”
The Town Council’s priority is keeping the community safe and preventing accidents before they happen. Possible new additions to the Nuisance Abatement is including encroachment meaning any type of construction work and any permanent or temporary objects must be removed within a public street which covers many more things besides basketball hoops.
“Again, this is not just solely addressed towards the basketball hoops, but if it gets to a point about location it could expose the town to liability if someone gets injured because of the location of those basketball hoops,” said Smithsburg Police Department Chief Bruce Degrange. “If it’s on private property, then it falls under the homeowners pervue and their insurance, so it just cleans things up considerably.”
The solution is to simply move the basketball hoops into your personal driveway or property or utilize the parks that are open and even lit at night for kids to play on courts.
“I empathize, I understand, I have a kid that likes to be active outside,” said Souders. “I completely understand, but again, we’re looking out for the detality of the town and not just about one specific thing and this is not just solely and specifically about basketball hoops.
Smithsburg’s next town council meeting will be Tuesday night.