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Vandals leave mess, damage at Point Park

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By Jeff Moore

Vandals struck Carrollton’s Point Park again Wednesday night leaving behind a mess that took city workers several man-hours hours to clean up.

Signs were removed and thrown on the ground, trash was strewn in front of the skate park and tracks were left in the grass where a vehicle had made doughnuts tearing up the lawn.

One pavilion was littered with trash, while the other was left with tables stacked in a pyrimiad with a garbage can atop the issue.

Public works director Ronnie Knight and his crew were busy Thursday morning cleaning up the litter, putting pavilions back in order and examining the damage to the park’s grassy areas.

“It’s a little worse today than it has been,” Knight said. But he noted that most days it takes a crew of two at least a half hour to cleanup the mess left by vandals the night before. On this day, Knight was one of four putting the park back in shape as organizers got things ready for the Blues to the Point festival set for the weekend.

As the crews worked, Gene McMurray was using the park for his morning exercise.

“You’ve got a mess,” McMurray shouted over to Knight.

The public works director said he’s frustrated that skateboarders continue to move tables in the pavilions to use them instead of using the skate park’s ramps.

Carrollton Police Chief Mike Willhoite said while they have had some success in finding and prosecuting vandals, it remains “very, very difficult” to figure out who is causing the damage and mess because the park is open to the public 24-hours a day. Additionally, there is only one way into the park so police can be spotted when they come to the park to patrol.

At one point, city council had discussed placing cameras at the park to monitor activity. Willhoite said that remains a good idea because it would allow the police dispatch to watch activity there.

If the vandalism doesn’t stop, Knight said he will be forced to ask council to lock up the park and close it at night. However, he said, he wants to try to prevent this so fishermen can continue to launch their boats in the early morning hours.

Willhoite said it is his goal and that of the city to keep it open so the public can enjoy what the city has to offer. He said he doesn’t want “a few bad people to ruin it for everybody.