SILVER LAKE — Vandalism at Rambler Park was one of the main topics of conversation at the Silver Lake Town Council meeting held Wednesday, Sept. 12.
“We had a lot of people donate for that park, to have that equipment put in, for a grant match to do the pavilion,” said Silver Lake Clerk-Treasurer Tonya Conley. “People just cannot seem to leave it alone. We have a lady who cleans the restrooms there, and twice now she has gone in and found that someone has wiped feces all over the walls and written expletives all over the mirrors.” According to Conley, something was spread over the floors of the restroom as well.
“I don’t understand why people cannot respect something that is so good for the community, that so many people put money into,” Conley said. “We have cameras there now, but people have broken them, turned them. I’m fed up.”
Conley stated she has since locked the restrooms.
“If anybody has a party there they can contact me and I will unlock it for the duration of the party, but I will not keep those restrooms unlocked unless we get a security system that we can watch from our phones, from our computers, anywhere,” said Conley.
She pointed out that the vandalism is occurring at all times, even during daytime hours.
“We had the people come down and did the flowers – it was a gardening club. It wasn’t two days later that someone had knocked over the flowers and the dirt … they just don’t respect anything. I’m just fed up with it,” Conley continued. “And It’s not fair to have to punish everybody else who respects it and takes their kids down there to have a good time because certain people mess things up like this.”
“When children need to go to the bathroom, they need a bathroom,” said Attorney Scott Ruest.
“They absolutely do. I totally understand that,” said Conley, “But at the same time, if I took my 5-year-old daughter down there I wouldn’t want her to walk into a bathroom with a feces spread wall.”
Quotes were obtained from Cottage Watchman, Pierceton, for three different systems. Conley said the system they feel would work best for their needs has a price tag of $6,329.
Town Marshal Jason McGlennen stated that the system they currently have has crashed a few times and has outlived its usefulness. “The new cameras are better and will have a better image. We will be able to zoom in and get a higher definition to ID somebody,”
“My thought would be, obviously … the people have put a lot of money into the park, into making it nice – it’s sad,” said Silver Lake Council President Chad Miner. “It’s unfortunate that we have to do this to keep it nice, but if that’s what we have to do then I think that’s what we should do.”
Additional lighting for the park area was also discussed. A quote for security lighting was obtained from Cottage Watchman in the amount of $2,500. McGlennen spoke with a representative from NIPSCO about lights on poles in the area of the park and discussed LED street lighting.
“They want to put up new lights which would be a cost of $18 a month,” said McGlennen. “NIPSCO owns the lights and we would just rent them. The $18 is basically a rental fee for the lights.”
Council members unanimously approved the purchase of the camera security system. No decision was made regarding the lights, as council members agreed to table this until a later time.