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Park vandalism costs everybody

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 10:27 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The City of Cheyenne is seeing an uptick in vandalism this year at its parks and properties.

Last week the Cahill Park was vandalized when a driver sped onto the wet turf of their soccer field and spun donuts or cookies month lawn, cutting deep grooves into the field, leaving $4,000 to $5,000 worth of damage, resulting in 350 kids being displaced, having to find a new location to play out the rest of their soccer season.

“It comes out of all of our money. This is tax players money, when you go buy something, you pay taxes, this is part of what it pays for. We cant improve anything, if we’re fixing the old stuff from vandalism,” said Mike Wilkinson, Risk and Safety Officer for the City of Cheyenne.

Mylar park bathrooms were vandalized twice within a 24 hour period. Johnson Park statues, sidewalks and playground equipment were graffitied.

Illegal dumping that should be taken to garbage transfer stations is happening at the park’s garbage site.

The extra reparative costs this year are about $30,000 to $40,000 in damages.

“if these kids have that excess energy where they can damage, maybe we can use it in a positive fashion, come and put an application in, and come and help us fix this stuff instead of destroy it,” said Wilkinson

The extra vandalism is placing more work on an already short-staffed crew, with seasonal help gone for the year. Plans to curb park vandalism include neighborhood watches, police surveillance and cameras in the park.

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