Troop can take lead on repairs

Friday’s Mirror article about damage to two toilets at the borough-owned Duncansville Community Center obviously wasn’t the biggest news of the day.

However, there’s an important point that needs to be made regarding the unfortunate, troublesome — albeit small-scale — incident, and that point applies not only for Duncansville, but anywhere where public facilities exist.

And, that point goes beyond the fact that whoever caused the Duncansville damage was acting irresponsibly, stupidly and shortsightedly.

Duncansville officials were correct in letting it be known that the borough won’t be able to continue allowing Boy Scout Troop 31 free access to the community center if damage occurs again. It was after a troop meeting that cleaners discovered the damage.

Because of footprints on the seats of the toilets, it is presumed that whoever stood on the seats caused the damage by rocking back and forth.

Borough Council President Jeff Wolfe said at a council meeting last week that the borough would have to spend money to get the damaged repaired.

As of that meeting, it had not been ascertained how much the repairs would cost.

Whatever the cost, it involves money that could be put to better use.

It would be uplifting if the troop would find some way to raise money and reimburse the borough for its outlay, even if no member of the troop actually caused the damage.

The damage, having been discovered after its meeting, should be the incentive for the troop to add raising the reimbursement money to what otherwise are the troop’s numerous good works.

Such a money-raising mission also would fit with the troop’s goals of character-building and teaching leadership skills.

But back to the matter of a point needing to be made — again, for Duncansville and anyplace else:

It’s local residents’ taxes that provide the money for the borough government to operate. It’s reasonable to say that some tax money paid by the parents of the individual or individuals responsible for the damage might be used to pay the repair bill — if not parents’ tax money, then perhaps tax money from someone that the individual or individuals otherwise know.

Those who vandalize public facilities fail to look beyond “today.”

They fail to grasp that someday, if not already, they’ll be taxpayers and, once that time comes, they’ll look unkindly on actions that end up wasting their hard-earned money.

If it was a young person that caused the Community Center damage, that individual needs to at least acknowledge privately the immaturity that was in play when the damage was inflicted.

At the council meeting, Mayor Lloyd Forshey rightly labeled the troop “an asset to the community,” and Councilwoman Jeannette Mills credited the troop leaders for the “responsibility” they showed by attending the meeting.

A troop member in attendance said the troop will be “keeping a more watchful eye,” going forward.

But the troop needs to do more than watch.

It needs to spread the word, both within troop activities and anywhere else possible, that causing damage, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, negatively affects someone — even incidents that don’t receive news coverage.

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