City parks seeing rise in vandalism

08_031sVANDALS AT WORK  — Over the past few weeks the City of Conrad has been dealing with numerous acts of vandalism at the city parks.  In this picture, someone has filled the toilet at the Jaycee Park with gravel.  The city crews spend between 10-15 hours a week cleaning up after these thoughtless individuals.  Photo Courtesy the City of Conrad




By Adam Jerome, I-O Reporter

Over the past few weeks the city has seen an influx in vandalism at various parks.

Most of the damage tends to be isolated to the bathroom facilities at the baseball complex, Legion Park and the Jaycee Park.

The problem has been periodic at the baseball fields and the Legion Park, but lately there has been vandalism at the Jaycee Park on a nightly basis.

Over the weekend the Conrad Police Department caught the children responsible for the mess at the Jaycee Park.  Three children were involved and their age ranged from 2-5 years-old.  No citations were written, but the parents were informed.

Some of the destruction includes turning the water on to the sinks, plugging the drains and letting the facilities flood.  Some of these delinquents will also fill the toilets with gravel.  There are also other acts with feces that are not appropriate to mention.

And in the last few years there has been spray painting at the Legion Park and the destruction of the toilets at the baseball park with fireworks.

Also at the baseball fields people are tearing up the parking lot, spinning out in the gravel.  It is bad enough that they are tearing up the lot, but children are at the complex during the summer months and this reckless behavior creates a safety risk for the community’s youngsters.

The city estimates that their crew spends between 10-15 hours a week cleaning up messes made by these thoughtless individuals.  This is time that the city crews have to take away from other more useful projects to better the community.

There is also a cost to fix or replace the vandalized facilities.

Mayor John Shevlin comments, “$500 here and there really starts to add up and takes money away from other more useful community projects.”

The Conrad Police Department is also spending time dealing with the issue.  When these officers have to stake out the parks, it means less time spent patrolling the rest of the city.

All in all this is your tax dollars at work folks.  Many of these wonderful parks have been built with taxpayer dollars, community donations and many volunteer hours.

Watching after these parks needs to be a community wide effort.  The police department needs help; they cannot be everywhere at once.  If you see any suspicious activity, call the local authorities.