Holes kicked into walls and stolen or broken signs are just some of the recent acts of vandalism Stratford ratepayers are left facing a bill for.
Stratford District Council director of assets, Victoria Araba, says the recent spate of vandalism in the town has left the new bike park in town missing signs and resulted in the temporary closure of one of the town's public toilets while repairs are undertaken.
"We expect that there will be a three-week closure of the Centennial Rest Rooms, we'll update the community on an opening date via our website, Facebook page and weekly Central Link."
Costs for vandalism related repairs come from the council's repairs and maintenance budget, which is funded through rates.
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Since January this year, vandals have damaged the Centennial Rest Rooms three times she says, with the damage caused costing council around $1000 in repairs. The damage has included holes kicked into the wall on more than one occasion, as well as toilet paper dispensers ripped off walls and toilet paper thrown all through the rooms.
They aren't the only public toilets to have been attacked by vandals, with paper dispensers at the Broadway toilets also being ripped off the wall, along with a glue-like substance being spread over the toilet seats, she says.
Particularly frustrating is the vandalism at the community's new bike park, says Araba.
"It was extremely disappointing to see that someone in our community has gone out of their way to intentionally damage and steal from this new community facility. We've been able to deliver this facility completely through government funding but, unfortunately, this kind of behaviour falls back on our ratepayers as the cost to replace and repair damage caused by vandalism is funded through rates."
Vandalism at the park has cost the council about $2300 to fix so far, she says, but that cost doesn't include the replacement of the seven signs stolen from it. Those signs are made to order, she says, with the total cost yet to be determined. On top of the cost, is the staff time taken to deal with any vandalism. Araba says this can be up to four hours a week.
Damaged council property can be reported at any time by calling 06 765 6099, she says, and if anyone sees suspicious activity they should call the police.
Disclaimer: Editor Ilona Hanne is married to the chief executive of Stratford District Council.