Children hoping to cool off at the spray park in Centennial Park on the next hot summer day will have to look elsewhere after vandals broke the control panel on the attraction over the weekend.
This is the second year in a row the control panel has been vandalized said Mayor Maureen Pinkney.
“It seems like someone has taken something very sharp perhaps the end of a screwdriver or the tip of a knife and has stuck it into the control panels for the spray park so now we’re waiting for parts to come in to be able to replace all of that damage.”
The mayor is not sure how long it will take to get replacement parts in to fix the panel. Like many items in their world these days things are not available. Hopefully, it will not take too long she said.
Pinkney said it is very disheartening as the community worked very hard to get the initial money together to install the spray park. It cost a lot and the District loves to offer this kind of service for the community.
“How sad when people just go in and needlessly wreck things,” she said. “That they think this is a fun thing to do.”
Vandalism in the park is an ongoing issue, Pinkney added. The logs on the stage are continually being repainted due to people spray painting them. Another problem is people carving in the logs that then need to be wood filled.
Not only is it costing taxpayers money for all this unnecessary maintenance it also has an impact on future plans for the park. “Makes a big difference later on when we think ‘what else can we do down in the park’ and you keep thinking well, it better be made out of concrete or it’s going to get wrecked.”
Pinkney grew up here and remembers driving down to the park and having a campfire. There were 100 people there every single day because that’s just what you did, she said.
“Now we have to lock it at night. The world is a changing place and not everything changes for the better these days.”
The District is considering a variety of security options.
Some of these include a security guard patrolling the park. Pinkney said the district could have a security guard walking around in there almost 24 hours a day and not cost as much as the maintenance they are having to do.
Security cameras are also a possibility but “are another thing they can break.”
Or possibly they need to have a caretaker in the park. Then the district would need to build an actual house down there to have someone watching.
“All these things are going to cost taxpayers money. It’s sad.”