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DUNKIRK — Those visiting the Dunkirk Community Park will notice something missing next time they go for a picnic or just to visit.
Because of vandalism problems and the failure to report them, Mayor Teresa Cramer ordered the park’s tables be stowed away in the closed shelterhouse until that space is needed to rent out.
An incident occurred last Thursday involving children stacking or flipping over the tables in the park, according to the mayor, who was one of two people called when the incident occurred. The other responder was village administrator Paul Cramer.
When she arrived, most of the children had scattered and only two older children stayed, neither of which gave the mayor a straight answer as to who had did it.
The picnic tables have often been the subject of vandalism in recent years, Mayor Cramer said. According to the administrator, the $800 tables have been repaired approximately five time times in just the last two years because of vandalism.
But part of the problem, aside from the vandalism, she said, was the fact that two adults saw the incident occur and neither called the law enforcement, but rather called the mayor and administrator.
“Two different people saw this occurring and neither one of them would say anything, do anything or call the sheriff,” Teresa Cramer said.
By the witnesses calling the two of them rather than the law enforcement, said the administrator, the problem can’t be resolved because the perpetrators’ acts are typically done by the time they arrive.
“When (the witnesses) call us, by the time we get there, (the children) are just sitting around on the tables,” Paul Cramer said. “So if we call the sheriff and the sheriff comes and asks ‘What did you see?’, well, I saw six kids sitting around on a table.”
So until people are willing to be witnesses to the acts of vandalism, then the problem will never be fixed, the mayor said. Until the time when people do start reporting it to the proper authorities, she added, the tables will be put away.
“I wanted them put away, and if people rent (the closed shelterhouse), I guess they’ll drag them out, use it, then they’re going to put them back in,” she said. “But until people start coming forward, calling the police and saying this is taking place, there aren’t going to be picnic tables. If people start complaining that there’s no tables down there, then make your kids behave or report what you see.”
“If people in the town want to have nice stuff, they’ve got to come forward or it’s never going to stop,” added Paul Cramer.
— Approve third reading of ordinance establishing rates of service for water and sewage services in the village of Dunkirk and repealing all ordinances in conflict. The ordinance includes adjusting the meter, valve and hydrant tampering charge to $100 and the late fees to $16 to be split for water and sewage.
— Approved a resolution accepting the county budget commission rates and waived the three reading rule.
— Learned from the administrator that as part of the revitalization grant, the posts have been put up in the park, the new roof has been put up on the shelterhouse, the catch basin project was awarded to the company R.A. Bores from Monroeville by the commissioners, and the water line bids open today in the commissioners’ office.
— Also learned from the administrator that the new sidewalks bid was awarded by the commissioners to a company out of Norwalk. The project is set to start either the week of Aug. 13 or Aug. 20 and will be done by Aug. 24.
— Learned there are some cracks, primarily on the east side of the walking path, that will be sealed to avoid water damage.
— Learned from village clerk Phyllis Spencer that the insurance claim was paid on fencing and electric.
— Voted to allow Spencer to pay for storm damages and softener repair.
— Voted to put excess top soil up for bid.
— Set a finance committee meeting Aug. 16 at 4 p.m.
By TY THAXTON
Times staff writer