Vandals hit city parks

We’re still two weeks away from the actual start of summer, but vandalism at City of Warren parks and playgrounds is on the rise.

Lacy, Crescent, DeFrees and Breeze Point have taken the brunt of the assault to this point.

Department of Public Works Director Mike Holtz said on Thursday that vandalism “never starts this early. School isn’t even out yet and we’re already getting hit.”

Just Thursday morning, Holtz said, someone smashed the electric meter at Beaty Park in an act that will cost the city “a few hundred dollars” to repair. Also at the Beaty restrooms, Holtz said that a paper towel holder was ripped off the wall and that there was evidence that someone attempted to start a fire on the floor.

At DeFrees, Holtz said, someone took all the paper towels and toilet paper and proceeded to stuff one toilet.

At Crescent, Lacy and DeFrees, Holtz said, they have “had feces on the floor and on the wall.”

One of the more visible acts of vandalism was at Lacy Park last week when someone painted the initials “N.H.C.” on the park sign.

The restrooms at Breeze Point had paper towels and toilet paper “all over the place,” according to Holtz.

City Administrator Mary Ann Nau asked that if people see vandalism occurring they should call 911.

“We can have police investigate,” she said. “We need help. These are the residents’ facilities.”

Nau said reports of vandalism could be made anonymously.

Holtz said he would prefer to see the vandalism stop before decisions would need to be made about minimizing hours or the temporary closings of facilities. He said the city administration has “had discussions” about those potential responses.

Nau explained that city restrooms used to be open only during the city’s supervised summer playground program. She said the city does not “want to go back to that.”