Vandalism on three recently installed park monuments has caused the Parks and Recreation Department and Wayfinding Committee to reevaluate future installations. At Tuesday’s city council meeting, the department presented options for future monuments in the city’s parks.
The Deer Park Parks and Recreation Department and the city’s Wayfinding Committee are seeking new direction after vandals damaged three park monument signs over the last year.
“We discovered the first damage around Thanksgiving of last year at Runningbrook Park,” said Jacob Zuniga, parks operations supervisor. “The letters on the monument sign were damaged and the raised letters on the marquee were pulled.”
The vandalism was limited to the monument signs.
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Parks Director Charlie Sandberg and Parks Supervisor Jacob Zuniga told council letters have been pulled off monument signs at the entrance to three city parks. The monuments cost $14,750 each
As the city has dedicated refurbished parkland, the parks and recreation department and Wayfinding Committee installed monuments at the entrances to Runningbrook, College, Wynfield and Terrace parks.
Examples of damage include lettering being pulled off the structures and vinyl pulled back. Compounding the issue is other monuments are planned at other parks, including Cottonwood Park, which was dedicated earlier this week.
Sandberg said the parks and recreation department anticipates vandalism when it installs equipment and signage.
“These monuments were an original concept, so there was really no data when it comes to vandalism,” said Sandberg. “We have to anticipate a certain percentage of vandalism and so we try to do our due diligence for the best options. Unfortunately, we don’t have 24 hour security."
Sandberg and Zuniga said the department could switch the lettering to a vinyl application, which would only cost $2,700.
Other options include a secure high pressure laminate that would add an additional $4,000 to each future monument or keeping the same concept with a laminate recessed into stone. The second option would not add any costs to future monuments.
Council recommended the Wayfinding Committee replace the current monuments’ lettering with the vinyl application and use the laminate recessed option with for future applications.
Sandberg said the department postponed installing the monument at Cottonwood Park until council and the Wayfinding Committee agreed on an option. Parks and recreation will present council’s direction to the committee next week and Sandberg expects the current four monuments to be repaired within the next month.