GALLIPOLIS — City officials issued a statement at the Gallipolis City Commission meeting Tuesday after discovering the Kerr Memorial Fountain and several Gallipolis in Bloom flower arrangements had been vandalized.
“About 4 p.m. Monday evening, we discovered the problem,” Gallipolis City Manager Gene Greene said. “That means it probably happened over the weekend. I’m not sure what they marked (the memorial) with. (City workers) power washed it and part of the (writing) came off. It looked like they might have used some kind of oil-based crayon that soaked into the marble.”
The defaced Gallipolis in Bloom flowers were also discovered Monday along various stretches of Second Avenue. Greene said the vandals had pulled multiple chunks of floral material from the hanging baskets lining streets and left the remnants on the ground. Bob’s Market and Greenhouses workers then went down the street and trimmed the plants to make them presentable for the town again.
Greene said there has been a lot of graffiti in Haskins Park near the skate park. Local business owners have also called Gallipolis police in regards to teenagers running on top of city buildings. One officer earlier in the year allegedly injured himself while looking for the teens. Greene said the teens had accessed the roofs through fire escape stairways.
“We’re checking cameras (of various downtown businesses),” Greene said. “We’re looking at maybe putting some cameras at someplace in City Park or in some of the businesses on Second Avenue pointing towards the park. You know kids. Someone might hear something on Facebook. It will come out.”
Greene said that if and when they find vandals, “there will be consequences.”
“When you go in and deface municipal and city property, especially in (City Park), you’re just asking for trouble,” Greene said. “We can’t continue to have this type of stuff downtown. We’ve never had it before. The fountain has been there for a long time. Now, all the sudden people are starting to put graffiti on it? We’ve had problems with graffiti in Haskins Park, but never in City Park.”
According to Greene, GPD will investigate the vandalism just like they would any other crime and it is possible that officers may more heavily patrol the area of Second Avenue.
“The city of Gallipolis and the employees and its residents work too hard and put in too much money (into these projects) to have something like this go with no repercussions. This type of action in our downtown won’t be tolerated,” the city manager said.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.