Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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August 27, 2013

Damage by vandals to parks costly

Corsicana — A 20-year-old Corsicana man was arrested at 8:45 p.m. Sunday for vandalizing Fullerton-Garitty Park. The man was one of two men using blue paint to write graffiti on the back of the amphitheater at the park.

“We got a call of a subject spraying graffiti at the amphitheater and officers familiar with the area made a tactical approach,” said Police Chief Randy Bratton. “The subjects ran but they were able to get (Christopher Michael) Morgan. He acknowledged his involvement.”

Morgan was charged with criminal mischief over $50 and under $500, and evading an officer. Police haven’t caught his friend yet. Morgan was released from jail on Monday after posting $3,500 in bonds, according to the Navarro County Sheriff’s Office.

Vandalism at public parks definitely ramps up during the summer, according to Parks Director Sharla Allen.

“Probably because the kids are idle,” Allen said. “It’s common. We do have instances throughout the summer.”

Including this instance, the parks department will spend more than $1,000 on repairs because of similar incidents. It will cost about $450 to paint over this incident, but taggers also hit the bathrooms at Cunningham South Hill, which also cost about $450 to repaint. Thieves broke into the pool at Bunert Park twice, once causing some damage to equipment and then breaking into the concession stand to steal snacks. The rules sign at the skate park was also shattered over this past weekend, in another instance.

“It’s just costly and destructive,” Allen said. “I could be spending our tax dollars more wisely on maintenance and new things rather than repairing and repainting.”

On smaller jobs, the parks department uses a chemical process to remove graffiti, but large jobs require repainting.

Allen said the parks department is already getting bids to fix the amphitheater.

“Certainly, it detracts from our parks, and it’s a great cost,” she said. “But we want to maintain the beautification of our city.”

    —————

Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “soundoff” to this article? Email: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

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