The Times West Virginian

October 6, 2013

Morris Park is target of vandalism

Significant damage done to walls where wading pools used to be

By Kaylyn Christopher
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Morris Park was the most recent target of acts of vandalism in Fairmont.

City Manager Jay Rogers said the vandalism was noticed early last week.

“It’s sad,” Rogers said. “It’s disheartening.”

According to Rogers, significant damage was done to the walls where the park’s wading pools used to be.

“We’re not definite of whether a vehicle was used to do this or whether it was just brute force,” Rogers said.

In addition, Rogers said paint was splattered on trees and the park’s restroom facilities, and damage was done to the electrical connections.

Rogers said the police department is actively investigating the incident.

“It’s damaging city property,” he said. “It’s a criminal offense.”

According to Rogers, the individual or individuals responsible will be prosecuted, and the city will seek restitution for the cost of repairs.

City employees do plan to reconstruct the wall.

“The intent is to repair the wall and steps and get those back to looking as much like they did prior to this happening,” Rogers said.

Anyone who has information related to the incident at Morris Park can contact the police department at 304-366-4200 or send an email to tipline@fairmontwv.gov.

“We certainly would appreciate any help if there’s anybody out there who knows how this happened, when it happened and why it happened,” Rogers said.

Unfortunately, Rogers said that acts of vandalism are fairly frequent in city parks.

“It takes away from the bigger issues that we’re trying to deal with when we have to go check out damage from something that didn’t need to happen,” Rogers said.

Rogers said improvements were recently completed at Morris Park which including paving and patching asphalt, but that circumstances like this make it difficult to continue to enhance community amenities.

“It’s a public park, and because so many people use the park for walking and things like that, we don’t want to get to the point where we have to restrict hours in park and things like that,” Rogers said. “But we can’t continue to have this type of vandalism occur.”

Email Kaylyn Christopher at kchristopher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @KChristopherTWV.