Gate City officials work to stop vandalism at Grogan Park
A local city is finding the warmer weather we've had recently has a downside. We've learned it often brings out vandals.
Gate City, Virginia leaders say Grogan Park has been a target over the last couple of years.
Grogan Park is a popular place for parents to take their kids. "It's a nice place for them to play a lot of nice equipment out here like the slides, swings, and sand box," said Mike Maness.
"It's a friendly place. We like to think of it as a community friendly park," said Frances Perry, Gate City Mayor.
However, as the sun goes down, the vandals often come out. "Seems they come out when the warmer weather starts that's when it starts it’s not too bad in the winter time," said Perry.
Gate City Mayor Frances Perry tells me this is the second year this has been happening. "We've had basins torn off the wall, had paper towel rollers torn off the wall, paper towels stuffed in the commode, commode stopped up," said Perry.
Someone even tore a drinking fountain off the wall. "This is taxpayers' property they are destroying," said Perry.
Residents, like these families, are footing the bill every time something has to be repaired. "Everybody's putting money into tax dollars and that's what is paying for this usually and it's not good for our kids," said Maness.
“There’s other things the money could go towards. This has been furnished here and it needs to be left alone so we can use that money in other places," said Perry.
We learned the town has even considered building a $40,000 water pad, but with all of the recent vandalism they're having some second thoughts. "A very few costs a whole lot of people their fun and enjoyment outdoors when they come in and destroy stuff like that," said Perry.
Perry tells me they've added cameras that keep an eye on the park 24 hours a day. The mayor even gave the police chief the okay to bring in an extra duty officer to patrol the area at nights and on weekends. She says they won't stop these efforts until the vandalism stops. "If they're caught we will prosecute to the fullest extent that law allows," said Perry.
Perry tells us they have a few leads.
If you have any information on the vandalism, you can call the Gate City Police Department (276) 386-9111.
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