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Thursday, May 5, 2016

City park vandalism discussed

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Several items of business came before Brazil City Council last night during its regular meeting, but vandalism at the city's parks was the main concern.

"We're having one tough time in the parks," said Mayor Kenny Crabb.

Forest Park was hit sometime Monday night. Two bench rows were toppled over at the bandshell and bicycle tracks were all over the concrete. In the men's restroom, instead of using the toilet, someone defecated in the urinals and on the floor. Swings were wrapped around the top bars and the fireman's pole on the wooden playground was broken off.

On the previous Thursday night, vandals damaged the greens at Forest Park Golf Course, tore up the flags and pushed over the pop machines.

Jefferies said the fireman's pole is such a thick piece of iron set in concrete that it must have taken some kind of vehicle to break it off. She suggested whomever broke the pump in the pool basement might be familiar with pool operations.

"Kenny, I think we might have to address locking all the restrooms," Ruth Ann Jefferies, park board president, said.

"Well, I don't know what's worse. Having people mess up the inside of the restrooms and having to get a bucket of bleach water to clean them up or locking the doors and having people break down the doors to get inside," Crabb responded.

He said residents living around Forest Park know that city police patrol the park every hour on the hour, but admitted vandals have many hiding spots among all the trees and low-lying areas.

Councilman Jim Sheese suggested police patrol the parks on bikes.

"There's only so much we can do with the manpower we have. But we need to do something. We'll take a look at some different things and see how it goes," Police Chief Terry Harrison said.

Jefferies said the park board put up new swings at Craig Park, plans new lighting and will be chemically treating the ponds there as well. A new backstop at Wheeler Park will be installed. She said these improvements will be done in hopes of increasing park usage so that vandalism will decrease.

Crabb mentioned cleanup around the old zoo buildings at Craig Park, the Civil War Re-enactment plans, the Redenbacker Popcorn Festival and other events to bring more people to the parks.

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