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Buda contemplates security cameras to curb skate park vandalism

Installing security cameras could be the next move for Buda city officials as they contemplate possibly spending money to curb rampant vandalism at the Jackson Tyler Norris Skate Park.

Greg Olmer, the new Buda Parks and Recreation Director, said during the Nov. 15 P&R Commissioner’s Meeting that it might be time to “throw some money at” the problem of vandalism at the park.

The conclusion was made after commissioner’s viewed slides during a powerpoint presentation on recent acts of vandalism that took place in the past week.

“They are just getting bolder and bolder so we’re probably going to have to throw some money at this,” Olmer said.

Olmer said currently the Buda Police Department has increased patrols of the area and residents are being more vigilant about keeping an eye out for anything suspicious.

However, much of the vandalism is occurring in the overnight hours. The park is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Olmer described two different options for security cameras that could be installed on the property with an array of different options and cost price points.

Flash Cam, the first option, would be a one time cost of $6,995 and would be solar powered. The camera is made of 16 gauge steel with bullet proof glass that would be able to be mounted on an existing light pole and have a range of 100 to 250 feet, depending on lighting conditions.

Olmer said Flash Cam would only be able to view one angle of the skate park and that the city has had trouble with solar powered equipment in the past.

The second option for city officials is to purchase security cameras from the same companies contracted for the cameras for the public safety building. Using this option would tie those cameras into the network at the new police station.

Olmer said the companies Alcon and ACI recommended 3 to 5 cameras be placed around the skate park to get a full view of the area. Doing so would cost $1,000 each, but the price estimate for installing the cameras and getting them online could be $10,000 to $28,000.

No action was taken at the Parks and Recreation meeting, but Olmer said the agenda item would appear on the next City council budget scheduled for Tuesday Nov. 21.

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