Medora officials discuss park vandalism


MEDORA — A security camera was knocked around so it faces a building.

The front of a Little Free Library was busted and the top was ripped off, leaving it completely destroyed and resulting in the books having to be removed.

Trash, including pizza and cake boxes, were strewn around. Even a pumpkin was busted on the basketball court.

Vandals have run rampant at Medora’s town park.

Medora Park Board President Shannon Hunsucker recently talked to the town council about ongoing vandalism at the park at First and George streets.

It’s especially frustrating to her, fellow park board members and town residents who have worked hard this year to make improvements at the park. She also was part of a Leadership Jackson County project team that helped bring in new playground equipment, paint structures and add landscaping at the park, and volunteers have worked at the park as part of Jackson County United Way’s Day of Caring.

Hunsucker said new tables and grills need to be installed at some point, and she wants to set a workday to do that.

The park board, however, wants to curb the vandalism issues so improvements at the park aren’t made for nothing.

Since the security camera was knocked around, Hunsucker said it’s pointing against a building, so nothing can be seen from the side where the restrooms are located, including who is doing the vandalism.

“I’m sure they are coming from the back side (of the building) to where we can’t see them, so I would love to get a camera pointing the other direction out toward the ball field to where we can see them,” she said.

One other security camera was installed in the park, and Hunsucker said she’s working on getting prices to add a couple more.

Because there’s no Wi-Fi access at the park, they will have to be wired. That has to be done high enough to where vandals can’t get to the wires.

Hunsucker said one idea is to put something like a pipe up to raise the cord higher.

“Something needs to be done because you’d have to run the cord through your pipe or they’d just keep doing that,” town employee Steve Ingle said.

The park board suspects juveniles are doing the vandalism.

“I think they need to bring back community service for the kids at school that get into trouble,” park board member Sharon Bowers said.

Town Marshal Jeff Walters said the county prosecutor recently ordered a female teenager to work in the school cafeteria to work off about $280 worth of tickets.

If school administrators get on board with that, Walters said the juveniles are going to quit the vandalism or whatever else they are doing to get in trouble.

“Jail is not the answer, but if you make them get out there and work and I supervise it or whatever, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that,” he said.

Bowers said she would talk to school officials.

“These kids need to be responsible for their actions,” she said.

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