Hellam K-9 fundraiser moves to church after Hallam council votes it down
A food truck festival supporting Hellam Township Police Department's K-9 unit will be held at a church after Hallam Borough Council members voted against hosting the event at a borough-owned park.
The council voted 5-2 on Aug. 10 to deny event organizers permission to host the festival at Emig Park, located at 2 Buttonwood Lane.
Instead, the food truck event is slated for 4 p.m. on Aug. 22 at Faith United Methodist Church, located at 126 E. Market St in Hallam.
"I heard nothing but good about the event from the community," said Matthew Flinchbaugh, a member of the borough council who voted in favor of the event. "It brings the community together, especially during a time where anxiety levels are high."
Council members who voted to deny the event at Emig Park could not be reached for comment.
Liability in the wake of COVID-19 has become a hot topic among municipalities and organizations, including Mount Wolf borough and Penn State University.
Groups or organizations that wish to host events at Mount Wolf Community Park are required now to sign waivers and indemnification agreements that say the borough will not be held responsible if an attendee contracts COVID-19 during the event.
Similarly, Penn State had planned on forcing students to sign a liability agreement and assume all risk of COVID-19 prior to returning to campus for the fall semester, according to Spotlight PA. The university on Friday walked back its mandate after taking criticism from legal experts.
Borough council member Melody Stine was the only other member to vote to accept the event organizer's application.
For months, the Hellam Township Police Department has made efforts to raise money in order to fund the department's first dog in its K-9 unit.
Department Chief J. Douglas Pollock had said in July that their first dog will be with the department this month and should be ready and trained to patrol by mid-November.
— Reach Tina Locurto at email@example.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.