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“We’ve Had Quite a Bit of Vandalism” City of Circleville Talks about City Parks


Circleville – This week Circleville City Mayor Don Mcllroy, Circleville Police, Chief, Director of Public Service Jim Stanley, and Chris Cupp Superintendent sat down with us to discuss an issue that is going on that the citizens need to know about, vandalism in the City parks.

“Smith Park has been vandalized, Mary Virginia Crites Park has been vandalized, Barthelmas Park has been vandalized, and Ted Lewis Park has been vandalized all in a year and a half,” said Cupp, “Anything from graffiti to fires, kids being on roofs, to people driving on the grass, and plugging toilets up, just about anything that can be imagined, they are doing it.”

Just a month ago the new Park renovation was vandalized Ted Lewis, not only with graffiti all over the new equipment but the new rope swing was set on fire, damaging it and the soft surface underneath. Just the rope replacement will cost the citizens around 2,500 dollars for something no one even really played with yet. Currently they have tape around the swing so kids can play on it, but eventually it will be replaced.

“What really concerns me about that is is taxpayers dollars,” said Mayor Mcllroy, “that are being affected by this. We are in the process now of putting in cameras, which is, again, taxpayers’ dollars just to try to catch the people that are damaging our parks. We just put $2.4 million investment into Ted Lewis.”

The Mayor said that he was also concerned with the bathrooms in the new park along with the ones in Mary Virginia. He reported that several of the toilets have been filled with rocks and pop bottles to the point that the bathrooms had to be closed so they could be fixed.

“The problem that we have with our bathrooms is that we want to make them available when the parks are open, but if they keep continuing to be vandalized we are being forced to probably close those because first of all, they have to be repaired, and second of all, we have nobody out there to maintain them. So we may have to close them. Because we just can’t continue to have that vandalism.”

The city parks are open during the day and the facilities are open during park hours and locked and closed at night. The city says that most of the suspects have been teens.

“Right now the officers are working towards the next steps, either filing charges or dealing with them. Fortunately, for us with the new cameras installed at Ted Lewis, we have filed charges against one person so far. Toilet paper being lit on fire, and the outlets being knocked off the walls inside the bathrooms we are still working to identify those people,” said the Police Chief.

The Chief also told Sciotopost that the city police are driving through the parks during regular patrol also, but it will take citizen help to stop some of the issues.

Usually, it is graffiti that is not family oriented, it’s graffiti that shouldn’t be written,” said the Mayor, “we need we need the assistance of our public. It’s their tax dollars is the overtime fixing this problem, That’s tax dollars, that’s money that’s that we’re spending that could be spent someplace else. Obviously, cameras are a deterrent, but they’re very expensive to put those in. We put cameras in, and we are putting more cameras in, we need to put a stop to it. It is an obligation that we have made as an administration, to our citizens, we want to have the best parks we possibly can have for them. and that’s what we’re doing. I drove by Ted Lewis, and Mary Virginia to see who was using the splash pad and It was full. Parents, young people, teenagers, everybody was really enjoying themselves, and that’s what we want with our parks. We want people to enjoy them, but then there’s all there’s vandalism, and people can’t use the bathrooms, then you got a problem, okay. People don’t stay as long because they have to go home to go the bathroom, change babies, or into swimwear whatever. We have two brand new bathrooms at Ted Lewis Park, and we want to make sure that they’re available to the public, as all of our bathrooms are.”

The City of Circleville is asking the public if they see something to say something, to monitor parks, check out the bathrooms if you are visiting report any damage or anyone who might be causing damage.