Recently, vandalism to the local splash pad has been an issue made apparent to City of Washington Court House officials.
The splash pad is a recreational area for kids and adults located across the street from Eyman Park. This project was originally erected in late 2019 and has had recent updates and new equipment added just this year. In total, this project has totaled around $200,000.
The Record-Herald recently spoke to Washington C.H. City Manager Joe Denen about the ongoing vandalism.
“To date, approximately $20,000 in damages have occurred,” he said.
Individuals have been breaking into the park overnight, during closed hours, breaking glass and destroying equipment. There has also been enormous amounts of litter and debris left on the premises by visitors to the area.
“I don’t think parents or guardians need to keep constant surveillance of their children in a park setting. Adults do need to be aware of their child’s actions and give their child direction,” said Denen. “Actions like rock throwing, misuse of the play equipment, and littering needs to stop.”
Jim Blair, city council member, also had some things to say about the vandalism.
“After the Fourth of July weekend, it took two city employees four hours to clean up the litter which included trash, cigarette butts, dog feces, and dirty diapers,” he said.
According to city officials, community members have to do better in ensuring these areas are being used properly and being taken care of by all individuals who choose to visit them.
The Washington Police Department has made the splash pad a top priority to ensure that it is a safe area for children and families to spend their time, but they cannot be there 24/7.
Denen noted, “Many members of the Service Department helped build the splash pad and have justified pride in the accomplishment.”
“We can’t keep a person at the splash pad constantly. Simply, we need your help. If you observe behavior like abuse of equipment or people in the area after the gates are locked, please report your observation to the police department. If you see activity that you think is wrong, but not at the level of calling the police, call the City Building at 740-636-2340,” explained Denen.