GANDER, N.L. – Over the past few weeks recreational facilities throughout Gander have been vandalized.
On the evening of July 4, washrooms at the Elizabeth Drive playground had toilets and soap dispensers ripped from the walls, and the tennis court’s storage hut was ransacked. The recreation committee’s estimated cost of repairs to be $500.
The week before, fencing at the skate park had been vandalized and beer bottles were smashed along the grounds. Prior to that, bleachers were overturned and nets were moved at the soccer pitch.
It’s been a disheartening experience for the town’s recreation committee, because while the cost of repairs might seem small, it’s an unbudgeted expense.
“You have people in place, schedules in place and money allocated for different recreational opportunities, and the pot is only so big,” said recreation chair Tara Pollett. “When you have to spend that money to do repairs it takes away from all these other things you were hoping to do.”
There could be another expense to take on as a result of the vandalism. Pollett added the recreation committee and department will be looking into ways of mitigating damage. This could be in the form of surveillance or patrols.
“We have to figure out something because this is costing the tax payers money and it’s tying up our resources,” she said. “I would encourage anybody who sees anything to contact the RCMP or municipal enforcement.”