A new public skate park isn't even open in Lowndes County and it’s already target for vandals. The cleanup is underway, but officials are considering how to prevent the problem in the future.
The $1.3 million skate park under construction in north Lowndes County is already being hit by vandals. They've spray painted skate ramps, they've carved symbols into the concrete; it’s a real disappointment for those who see this park as a community asset.
Joe Pritchard, Lowndes County Manager, says, "We can't complete the project for trying to clean up and fix up where some people have come in and created some vandalism."
Vandals even clogged a water fountain by stuffing it with paper towels.
The vandals were not content to just attack the skate park itself. They also moved into the woman's restroom, causing so much damage that the door can't even be opened at this point. Now local authorities are looking for those responsible and taking steps to make sure this kind of crime doesn't happen again.
Wanda Edwards of the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office says, "It's not going to be tolerated. That's taxpayer money that built the park. It's for kids use and their fun. We'll keep an extra patrol on it. If we catch someone out there vandalizing it, we'll be prosecuting them."
County leaders say if more vandalism takes place before the park even opens, changes could be made, including restrictions on operating hours and even a usage fee for skaters.
The latest round of vandalism to the Lowndes skate park has delayed its opening for several more weeks.