Vandals hit Rosemount parks
Rosemount police are looking for the people responsible for a number
of acts of vandalism this summer at Rosemount parks. Parks employees
are just trying to clean up the messes.
There have been several instances of vandalism this summer. Some are
relatively minor - broken light fixtures and other property damage -
but other instances have created serious costs for the city and
inconvenience for the city and park users alike.
Portable toilets have been burned on two occasions at Schwarz Pond
Park, and, most recently, someone broke 15 sprinkler heads on an
irrigation system at Jaycee Park.
The sprinkler incident required parks workers to abandon other
projects so they could fix the sprinklers before the leaking water
did serious damage to the grass at Jaycee Park. Rosemount Parks and
Recreation director Dan Schultz said each sprinkler head costs about
$100 to replace.
"When there's 15 of them, that adds up quickly," Schultz said. "And
that doesn't include staff time. When we're out needing to work on
other things that's a big job to undertake."
At Schwarz Pond Park the inconvenience falls more on the Rosemount
residents who use the park. Because of the toilet-burning incidents
the portable toilets have been removed to the park.
"We just couldn't afford to keep putting them back," Schultz said.
"That's one of those things where services are impacted."
Vandalism at the parks is nothing new. The city sees some every
summer as days get longer and warmer and people spend more time
outside. But Rosemount police chief Gary Kalstabakken said the amount
of vandalism has increased this summer and incidents such as the
sprinkler head damage are more serious than the city usually sees.
Kalstabakken said it can be difficult for police to keep a close
enough eye on the parks to catch someone in the act of vandalizing
"We have however many parks there are plus all the homes and
streets," Kalstabakken said. "We're not there. Parks are there for
people to use, so it's a little more difficult to say it's suspicious
when there's someone hanging out (in a park) because that's what
people do in parks."
Kalstabakken has asked Rosemount residents, especially those who live
near parks, to report unusual behavior.
"We're hoping that more eyes looking into the parks will deter the
acts from happening," he said.