Vandals Strike at Belleview Park in Steubenville

Vandals struck again at Steubenville’s Belleview Park.

Parks & Recreation Director Lori Featherolf said a caller had alerted Steubenville City Manager Jim Mavromatis to the latest attack: graffiti spray-painted on the back wall of the restrooms.

“It makes me mad and sad at the same time,” Featherolf said Saturday. “It frustrates me, but it also makes me sad they don’t have a little more respect for our parks in general.”

Featherolf said come spring, city crews will try to power-wash the paint off the brick facade. If that doesn’t work they’ll call in a professional.

“It stretches my already tight budget,” Featherolf said. “It makes it so we may not be able to do other stuff because we have to (address) the vandalism.”

The park has surveillance cameras, but until recently lighting was an issue. New lights have been installed around the playground and restroom area that improve the quality of the images the cameras capture.

City Council is also mulling a request by Police Chief Bill McCafferty to purchase an all-new security camera system, which, if approved, would further enhance park security.

“We’re even thinking about putting more cameras down there, so we catch all the angles, all the time,” Featherolf added.

Featherolf said Beatty and Belleview parks tend to be targeted more frequently. She also said this isn’t the first time Belleview’s restroom building has been vandalized. The playground fence has also been a frequent target.

“We started fixing the fence at Belleview yesterday, it’s costing us $1,500 to get that fixed this year,” she said. “That’s just money we don’t have.”

She figures it’s going to cost around $2,000 to remove the graffiti, “whether it’s done by my staff or we contract it out.”

Thus far in 2018, she figures the board has probably spent $8,000-$10,000 to address vandalism.

“We take two steps forward and one step back,” she said. “We’re really trying to make things better for the community and then this happens. But, we’ll keep plugging along, fixing things as best we can.”

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