New Haven Mayor Miffed About Damage To Popular Park

By Jeff Neumeyer

November 22, 2010 Updated Nov 22, 2010 at 7:20 PM EDT

NEW HAVEN, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- The mayor of New Haven is intent on nipping a vandalism problem in the bud.

The effort to do damage control in a popular downtown park is about protecting taxpayer money and the honor of our veterans.

Much of Mayor Terry McDonald's concerns revolve around a newly dedicated veterans memorial in Schnelker Park that has already been touched by vandals.

More than $40,000 in donations paid for a new monument and flagpoles at the entrance to the park.

The glass shield over one of the imbedded spotlights illuminating the flags was shattered over the weekend.

Recently, the parks department shelled out $1,200 to re-paint a gazebo defaced by profanity-laden graffiti.

On nearby playground equipment, crews have scrubbed graffiti off the tube slides so many times that the plastic is disintegrating.

Mayor Terry McDonald/(R) New Haven: " The budgets are tight like everybody else's budgets, and it's costing a lot of money to take care of that graffiti, so little kids don’t have to be exposed to these kinds of things. We will be increasing the police patrols, we'll be doing some other proactive things to stop the vandalism, and if the individual or individuals are caught, they will be prosecuted."

Mayor McDonald is nervous, because if the vandalism escalates, the maintenance fund will be depleted in a hurry, forcing the city to use taxpayer dollars for repairs, a move McDonald doesn’t want to make.

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