by Trish Rudder
Vandalism in the North Berkeley Community Park on Williams Street was a topic of discussion at the September 21Bath Town Council meeting.
Mayor Scott Merki said the vandalism at the playground is an ongoing problem, and that he saw the pictures on the social media page that were brought to his attention.
“It’s severe vandalism,” Merki said.
Berkeley Springs Police Chief Tony Link said the area is patrolled, but more manpower is needed, especially with an officer on leave.
It was suggested that the park could be locked at night to deter the vandals.
But Morgan County Parks and Recreation director Dawn Beal said on Friday that vandalism happens during the day as well.
She said she was contacted by “concerned citizens” and was told that middle and high school kids are there during the day.
Beal said in addition to finding used needles and condoms on the grounds, obscene pictures were drawn on the playground equipment and some equipment was broken.
The plastic window was destroyed on the slides and tunnel playground that is designed for two-to-five-year-old kids, Beal said.
Merki suggested getting a camera with higher resolution might deter the vandals or putting a higher fence all the way around the park.
He said the community needs to help police the park.
“Get the vehicle tag number,” and “call 9-1-1 if you see people vandalizing.”
“The neighborhood needs to be our eyes,” Merki said.
The next Parks & Recreation meeting is on Wednesday, October 20 at 7 p.m. in the Morgan County Commission Room at the courthouse.
“We need to attend that meeting,” Merki said.