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Vandal(s) cause $5K work of damage to park

Parks Superintendent Jeff Kinasz looks over the damage done to an adult changing station inside a handicap-accessible restroom at Seymour Lake Township Park. Someone bent the bracket and sprung the hinges, probably by jumping up and down on it. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
June 16, 2010 - Ron Davis is thoroughly disgusted and who could blame him?

Some unknown vandal (or vandals) trashed Seymour Lake Township Park Sunday night, leaving behind an estimated $5,000 worth of damage.

"That's just ridiculous," said Davis, who's director of the Oxford Township Parks and Recreation Department. "It's disheartening. You try to have something nice and one or two idiots just ruin it.

"I just can't believe it. We were going so well without any vandalism for quite a while. You can tell summer's coming. It's a sign of things to come. It's just frustrating. You try to do something nice and people take it away from you."

Most of the damage was done to an adult changing station inside a handicap-accessible restroom. It appears someone probably jumped up and down on it until they bent the bracket that held it to the wall and sprung the hinges. They also broke the supports inside the wall to which the bracket was attached.

According to Parks Superintendent Jeff Kinasz, if they have to replace the entire station which is very likely because the bracket is usually sold as part of the kit it will cost about $3,000.

"It's a hefty ticket item there," Davis said.

That $3,000 doesn't include the added cost of having to tear open the wall, fix things and seal it back up.

Over at the splash pad ticket booth and concession stand, the vandal(s) ripped three screens off the windows and bent them.

It will cost $30 each for the screens, plus $400 to completely replace one window that was badly damaged.

The vandal(s) also busted a split rail fence and tipped over a trash can.

All of the damage will be covered by insurance, but the department will have to pay a $500 deductible.

Anyone with information about this act of vandalism is asked to call either the Oakland County Sheriff's Oxford substation at (248) 969-3077 or the Parks/Rec. Department at (248) 628-1720.

"If anybody saw anything, we'd like to know," Davis said. "I'm sure it was done in the wee hours of the night."

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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