Mannington Officials Hope To Stop Hough Park Vandalism - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Mannington Officials Hope To Stop Hough Park Vandalism

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The authorities in Mannington said they see an increase in vandalism every summer but that it happens year-round.

Hough Park is one of Marion County's most used parks. City officials and law enforcement are looking to put a stop to the damage.

"The thing that I don't understand is these parents know when their kids are down here and they aren't doing anything about it," said Robert Garcia, Mannington Mayor.

Broken light bulbs, picked locks, damaged bathrooms, and more. Hough Park in Mannington is taking quite the beating.

"A lot of times the Park Board hasn't called us so we weren't really aware of some of this vandalism going on up here," said David James, Mannington Police Chief. "We're currently trying to get a camera system in place up here. Once that's in, I'm sure that will curb a lot of it."

Several cinder blocks missing from one of the pavilion. Mayor Garcia said teenagers are taking the blocks and throwing them into the nearby creek.

"They have a four wheeler up there and that's what they've been busting out the walls with mostly," Mayor Garcia said. "Some of them weren't moldered in good when they did it and it was easy for them to bust out."

Chief James said vandalism is a criminal offense.

"It's a misdemeanor, it's punishable," he said. "I believe it's up to any misdemeanor, a year in jail and a fine. A substantial fine."

The Mannington Vietnam Veterans Association is offer­ing to help clean up the park.

"We wash down this parking lot over here," Mayor Garcia said. "You'll see here where it's flooded and washed all up here, we will help clean that. We'll go around and help pick up papers and stuff."

It even plans to renovate the old caretakers building and make it a home for a fellow veteran.

"We've got to put a new shower, bathroom, kitchen," Mayor Garcia said. "The whole thing needs to be redone."

Mannington pays out of its own pocket to repair damage to the park.

"We maintain this park. It's been a very nice for our community and it's a very nice park," Chief James said.

Mayor Garcia said if the vandals are underage, the parents will be the ones getting in trouble.

"They shouldn't be doing it. They know they shouldn't be doing it and should be keeping an eye on their kids and what they are doing."

The Mannington Police Department is offering a $100 reward to anyone with information that could lead to an arrest.

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