Keyser battling vandalism at city parks

Liz Beavers
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
The North End Park is one of the City of Keyser's parks that has recently been hit by vandalism.

KEYSER — The City of Keyser has been dealing with ongoing vandalism at some of the city parks and officials are looking into the possibility of installing cameras to help catch some of the offenders.

In the meantime, they hope citizens living near the parks will keep watch and if they happen to catch someone in the act, take their picture.

Keyser City Council member and streets and sewer supervisor Jim Hannas says the damage has ranged from broken basketball rims and peeled paint to the destruction of a backstop fence.

During the Aug. 11 council meeting, he gave a rundown of the most recent vandalism:

Brooks Park: Amphitheater door was broken and had to be replaced.

West End: Two basketball rims were broken down and had to be replaced.

North End: Paint was peeled off various pieces of playground equipment; boards on picnic tables were broken; and the backstop fence was torn down.

“We repainted everything over there and fixed the picnic table and put the fence back up,” he said.

City administrator Jeff Broadwater told the News Tribune the increase in vandalism is causing the city to hesitate in purchasing any no equipment for the playgrounds.

"We are really wanting to add new playground equipment, backboards, etc., but are reluctant due to the vandalism," he said. 

Hannas encourages those living around the parks to help the city stop the vandalism.

“With cell phones everywhere these days, if somebody would see vandalism going on … if they would take a picture it would help,” he said. “They can stay anonymous. Just call the city garage and we’ll come out.”

“We don’t need your name; just send us your picture of the person doing the vandalism,” council member Jennifer Junkins agreed.

Mayor Damon Tillman said he thinks the city needs to look into the cost of installing cameras at the parks.

The City of Keyser owns six parks: Brooks Park (former South End Park), West End, North End, Laffey Park (former East End Park), the Sally Burnside Park, and Millmeadow Park.