Willows Vandalism Taking A Toll

Jul 20, 2010 7:59 PM

The Willows "Skate Park" is a place where many young people go in their spare time, but it has also become the recent target of vandalism, graffiti and litter. Willows Public Works Director Greg Tyhurst says the spike in the last four months is taking a toll. "What's happened is we've already spent some funds to take care of the graffiti removal, repairs to some of the equipment already that's taken place, and we're only a couple weeks into the budget at this point."

The department is alloted about $1,200 dollars a year for park maintenance, but with the current pattern, there is not enough funding to keep fixing the problem. A fence has already been cut open four different times. "It's so disappointing, we've left it out this last time because it doesn't seem like we can stay on top of it," Tyhurst explained.

Willows Police Chief Bill Spears says a resident complained about police patrols in the area at night. The city manager then directed the department to stop patrolling the park by vehicle. He thinks it could be part of the reason for the spike. Meanwhile, skaters and bikers say: "They're just destroying Willows property and I just think it's all wrong," stated Taylor Osa of Willows. "I think graffiti, like the big artistic stuff is cool, but the small stuff like people trash talking I don't really like that cause it's not kind," Willows resident Joey Dasilva said.

Police say the majority of the graffiti is not gang related. No arrests have been made so far.


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