Three additional street lamps will shed extra light on some shadowy characters that area residents say are frequenting Geneva Park.
About 20 residents of the northwest Orem neighborhood attended the last Orem City Council meeting to thank officials for previous help and ask for more."We want to thank you for the extra stop sign and the chain to put across the park entrance when the park has closed," Karen Lambert, group spokeswoman, said.
Lambert said those measures have helped, but extra lighting would help even more.
"If the park was better lighted, it would be less convenient for those elements that are creating the problems."
The park is plagued by drug dealers and users and by vandals, she said. Jack Jones, director of Orem public works, said police confirmed more crimes were committed in Geneva Park than in any other city park.
Daryl Berlin, city manager, said police have increased their patrol of the area recently.
Another area resident said he didn't know if the extra light would limit the number of vandals,"but it would sure be nice to be able to see them."
The council approved the installation of three sodium-vapor street lights for the area. Each lamp will cost about $180 per year to power after installation.
Jones said similar requests had been turned down for other parts of town.
"Normally, we only put in street lights at intersections, and all three of these lights are proposed for mid-block areas."
Council members agreed to make an exception for the Geneva Park area, saying it had a documented problem that needed to be addressed.
Residents also requested the city council limit Geneva Park's use to that of small groups whose cars would fit in the limited parking area. They also asked the park be closed at dusk, either year-round or in winter months.
"We do not see many family outings at night, in the dark, in the middle of the winter. It's the troublemakers who are in the park at those times," Lambert said.
Council members said they would consider the limiting group size and closing the park early, but the legality of such actions would have to be researched by the city attorney.