Buda eyes tech to curb skate park vandalism

A resolution addressing vandalism issues at the Jackson Tyler Norris Memorial skate park could be coming after Buda City Council members discussed installation of security cameras.

Buda Parks and Recreation Director Greg Olmer updated council members Nov. 21 on vandalism at the park and asked for help in brainstorming any additional solutions to the problem.

Olmer discussed two different options for possible cameras on the property. Option 1 called for a Flash Cam system to be installed by the city, which would cost roughly $6,995.

Option 2 would allow a third-party company, ACI, to install the cameras and tie them into the new municipal building security feed. Option 2 has an estimated cost of $14,500.

Buda Police Chief Bo Kidd discussed current measures being taken to enhance security at the skate park. Buda Police is also offering a reward for information about the vandalism.

Kidd also mentioned a way for the city to adopt a “long term solution” by building a fence all the way around the park that could be closed and locked. Such a solution would only be implemented if further vandalism takes place.

“I think that would cause local kids to start policing it themselves, or at least motivate them to come forward with information,” Kidd said.

Kidd said having the park locked in lieu of cameras would be helpful on any future cases of vandalism since cases of trespassing can be easily prosecuted by the court system.

“I think technology is a great thing but I think some simpler technology could be effective as well,” Kidd said.

Mayor Pro Tem Wiley Hopkins called the persistent vandalism “disgusting,” saying he would “like to see some cameras out there.”

“We need to get the word out that we (Buda City Council) take this matter very seriously,” Hopkins said.

Councilmember Lee Urbanovsky agreed with Hopkins that “cameras are the way to go,” but requested that city staff look further for an addition option with a cost estimate ranging from $7,000 to $30,000.

Buda Mayor George Haehn said a price lower than $30,000 would be a “Godsend.

Olmer said a third option might be available soon that could lower the cost estimate further.

Paul Daugereau, Place 4 councilmember, liked the portability and price point of option 1, and claimed that local kids who could be scared off by the security device were likely carrying out the vandalism at the park.

Place 6 councilmember Evan Ture also liked the portability of option 1, calling it a possible asset to the city in the future that could be moved within the various Buda Parks.

“This isn’t the last time we are going to have issues of vandalism in Buda,” Ture said.

No action was taken by Buda city leaders but the agenda item will return to council at a later date.

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