Tuesday, August 13th, 2019
Park security boost planned
$30,000 donated for cameras
By William Kincaid
CELINA - An anonymous donor infuriated upon learning of vandalism at the new amphitheater has given the city $30,000 to help officials purchase security cameras for the Bryson Park District and prevent similar incidents in the future.
City council members at Monday night's regular meeting approved an ordinance accepting the donation and appropriating it into the city's park capital account for the acquisition of security cameras.
The legislations was passed as an emergency measure after councilors suspended the rules requiring three public readings.
"She did not want her name known, not because she's ashamed of who she is, but she wanted other people to be able to step up to the plate as well," Hazel said.
Councilors lavished praise on the mystery donor and her generosity.
"Well, I don't know who she is, but I think she's our new best friend," councilman Jeff Larmore said. "That's great. It's another example of how people step up in this town."
NuWave Technology Inc. of Coldwater provided a rough estimate of $85,000-$90,000 to install 30 security cameras and accessories to monitor the park district along Lake Shore Drive. Hazel had said high-definition cameras are needed so vandals can be properly identified and prosecuted.
However, Hazel on Monday night said the $30,000 donation may pay for the costs of enough cameras to monitor the amphitheater area.
"We are putting together specs right now so we can at least get the framework for this camera system to be able to install in that park," Hazel said.
Officials on July 16 received a report of vandalism at the Harley C. Jones Memorial Rotary Amphitheater, a centerpiece of the Bryson Park District that will host its grand opening on Sept. 21.
Hazel had said a bar was repeatedly jammed into a saw-cut joint in the upper back portion of the concrete structure. Contractors had to cut, remove and repour concrete at an estimated cost of $2,500.
Police Chief Tom Wale told the newspaper he has no descriptions of the vandals or suspects at this time. He noted a few other incidents of minor vandalism since, saying an electrical outlet was damaged by being kicked.
Measures have enacted to deter vandalism at the park, he said, pointing to temporary light poles that have been erected, patrols of the area have been increased and a few trail cameras have been installed.