Is Allentown no longer going to take out the trash for Patriots Park on the south side?
On Wednesday, Don Hunsicker, athletic director at the park, told City Council that, about a month ago, someone from the administration verbally told park officials the city no longer will pick up trash in the park -- something Hunsicker said it has been doing for nearly 50 years.
“In the course of the last month, this trash has been piling up at Patriots Park,” said Hunsicker. “Last week, on our own, we took out 30 barrels of trash, which were there for three to four weeks.”
Previously, he said, city crews picked up the trash twice a week, which only took 10 or 15 minutes to do. “They’ve been doing this job for 47 years.”
Hunsicker indicated picking up trash is part of a 100-year lease between the privately-owned park and the city, which was signed in 1957. “They told us they no longer are going to honor this lease and pick up the trash like they do in any other city park.”
He said it took two weeks for anyone to find a copy of that lease.
He said John Mikowychok, the city’s parks director, wanted to see the lease, but then said he couldn’t do anything because “my orders come from downtown.”
Hunsicker said the way the city administration is handling the issue is “totally inexcusable in this day and age.” He said in the past, “a matter like this was taken care of with no problem.”
He said after a month, “we finally got word that there possibly will be a meeting with the city, possibly in a week or so.”
Hunsicker appealed to City Council for help, saying: “I thought it’s time I make an appearance down here to try to get this straightened out.”
Council president Julio Guridy said Hunsicker’s request was legitimate. He promised City Council will look into it “and see if there’s anything that can be done to support you. If we can, we certainly will.”
The 61-year-old park, popular for fast pitch softball tournaments that draw people to the city, is located at 1027 Wyoming St.