PORT HAWKESBURY: The Mayor of Port Hawkesbury says her first reaction was disappointment after the Community Park public washroom was subject to vandalism in recent weeks.

Following the Port Hawkesbury Town Council’s regular monthly meeting on October 2, Brenda Chisholm-Beaton said the park is a true testament to the community’s strength.

“It was built in one day by 400 people of all ages and stages who showed up with shovels, wheelbarrows and tools and they really worked together to build that park.”

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She said it is really disappoitning when one or two individual decide to cause damage to a space like the Community Park, which was built in that kind of spirit.

“It goes above and beyond damage being caused to town-owned property,” Chisholm-Beaton said. “What it really is, is damaged being caused to community-owned property.”

Staff Sgt. Greg Redl said the RCMP is aware of a few incidents of reported vandalism over the past month but generally speaking, Port Hawkesbury doesn’t have a vandalism problem.

“I think it’s an issue that’s very front in people minds,” he said. “It’s one of those things that is very easily seen, so whether it’s happening a lot or that’s just the perception, it certainly generates a lot of talk.”

Terry Doyle, the town’s chief administrative officer, said in taking steps to secure the area, a curfew has been implemented and at 4 p.m., the park washrooms are now locked.

“We haven’t seen any more damage since the curfew has taken place,” Doyle said. “The damage was mainly to the drywall, there were big holes in the drywall, toilets were plugged, we had to remove toilets, and clean the sewer lines.”

In respect to vandalism in public places, Redl suggested increasing the light in the area or removing vegetation that limits eye-sight could be a solution to the problem.

Redl added that anyone who sees suspicious behavior is asked to contact the RCMP and they’ll come to take a proper inspection.