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Eastern Iowa Parks and Recreation directors respond to recent vandalizations

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 7:06 PM CDT
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ELY, Iowa (KCRG) - Over the last two weeks, Parks and Recreation departments in Eastern Iowa shared incidents and concerns over cases of vandalism on playground and other public areas.

One took place at Schulte Park in Ely.

On Monday, May 16th a park goer reported flooding from a clogged toilet and sink in the bathroom at Schulte Park. Parks and Recreation director Callie Stulz-O’Brien says each park is equipped with security cameras, so after reviewing the footage they found the three teenage boys responsible..

“We have cameras at all of our city facilities, very nice cameras I would say. And being a small town, it’s pretty easy to identify people when they are involved,” she told TV-9.

She says the damage was a quick fix, and the bathroom was working again within the day, but not all park vandalisms are a quick fix.

Riverside Park in Vinton was lit on fire on May 14th causing $200,000 in damages.

Vinton Parks and Recreation Director Matt Boggess says they can fix it, but it will take a lot longer to open it back up.

“So right now if we want to order stuff in, due to shortages, supply chain shortages, different things like that, the earliest that we’re going to get a playground in or get equipment in is December,” Boggess said in a video posted to the Parks and Rec Facebook Page.

Police in Vinton say they identified two juveniles who they believe are connected to the fire, and charges are pending.

The three boys responsible for the vandalism here in Ely are completing community service until they pay off the cost of the damage.

Both departments say these incidents aren’t a reflection of their town or any town as it can happen to any public park.

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