Last fall, the Village of North Syracuse Parks and Recreation Department replaced some of its dated, aging signs with newer, more attractive ones at a cost of $1,300.
One of those signs in Centerville Park has now been destroyed by vandals – twice.
“I have no clue how they did it,” said Parks and Recreation Director Teresa Roth. “It almost looks like it was cut in half, but it wasn’t cut.”
The first act of vandalism occurred this past April. Roth reported the act to the village’s insurance company, which reimbursed the village for a replacement sign. The sign was replaced at the end of July, and this time, the village took no chances – workers reinforced the sign with steel rebar on the bottom to prevent it from being destroyed again.
But their efforts were in vain.
On Nov. 18, when Roth checked Centerville Park on her usual rounds, everything was fine.
On Nov. 21, when she came into work from the weekend, the sign had once again been destroyed.
“Again, we don’t know how, but it looks like they broke it from the top, in half or in two-thirds,” Roth said. “The police said it looks like they hit it with a skateboard or a bat.”
In addition to the Centerville sign, a sign at Kennedy Park was also destroyed.
Now, because of the extent of the damage, both signs have been taken down, though the posts where they hung remain. The village is awaiting an insurance check to replace the signs.
Roth is frustrated.
“I can’t afford to keep replacing these,” she said. “And I just don’t know why someone would do this. People kept telling me how nice the signs looked.”
Worse, the sign at Centerville could have been repaired, but the vandals took a piece of it with them; now a full replacement is necessary.
Anyone with information on the vandalism is asked to call Roth at the parks department at 458-8050 or the village police department at 458-5670.
In the meantime, keep a close watch on your neighborhood parks.
“We’re just asking the public to keep an eye out and help us patrol the area,” Roth said. “The police can’t be there all the time.”
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.