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Community Divided over Historical Fence

HONESDALE — We have seen plenty of stories recently about building walls and fences. But in Wayne County, it’s an old fence that has people divided ...
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HONESDALE -- We have seen plenty of stories recently about building walls and fences. But in Wayne County, it's an old fence that has people divided in more ways than one.

There's a new fence for the Civil War monument at Honesdale's Central Park that replaces a deteriorating fence first installed in 1869.

"For safety, I think it's wonderful," said Sandy DeGroat, who takes her grandchildren to the nearby playground often. "I think it looks nice. The other fence was deteriorating. The poles were falling apart. Kids climb on it and someone was going to get really hurt."

According to borough council, at least one kid did get hurt by the old fence. But the new fence that replaced it isn't being welcomed by the entire community.

"I'm just disappointed that a piece of our history was cut apart and taken away," said Jeff Hiller of Honesdale.

The borough council president tells Newswatch16 that council looked at different ways to try to raise money and restore the old fence for five years. But when a new playground was put in right across the way, it became the perfect time to replace the dangerously old fence.

Dave Rickert saw a post on Facebook about the old fence being removed, so he decided to restore the aging fence himself.

"Loaded it all up on the truck and trailer and brought it home and I haven't stopped working since Sunday morning," said Rickert.

The Honesdale resident hopes the borough sees the old fence looking like new and puts it back, instead leaving the new fence in place.

"The [new] fence is nice," he added. "The workmanship was very nice. But it's not the authentic fencing. In my eyes, it just doesn't go."

The borough council president tells Newswatch16 that council will take a look once the fence is restored and then consider the possibility of putting back the old fence.