Whitingham sets bounty on Town Hill vandals
by Mike Eldred
Nov 17, 2013 | 3657 views | 0 0 comments | 82 82 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WHITINGHAM- Selectboard members are taking aim at vandals who have targeted the town’s recreational facility at Town Hill over the last several weeks.

At their regular meeting Wednesday evening, board members appropriated $1,000 from the Eames Fund, a selectboard discretionary fund, to be paid to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the vandalism.

Road commissioner Stan Janovsky said the rash of vandalism started several weeks ago when someone smashed a power meter on the utility box that houses the town’s communications repeaters.

A few weeks later, it happened again. “Someone took the aluminum caps off the playground equipment and threw them up against the repeater box, smashing the meter again, and some of the conduit going to the box that has the repeaters inside. I didn’t realize what they used to break it at first until I found one of the caps.” Janovsky said he collected one of the caps and tried to turn it over to police, but wasn’t successful in connecting with state troopers.

In another incident, someone removed shingles from the roof of a shelter at the park, forming an obscenity. Selectboard chair Keith Bronson estimated the cost of replacing the roof at about $3,000 to $4,000. “Whoever is doing it doesn’t realize the seriousness of breaking our radio equipment,” Janovsky said. “There are certain channels we can’t use if there’s an emergency. Would it be worth offering a reward?”

Bronson said he thought it was a good idea, as did board member Alan Twitchell. He said he had recently discussed the idea with police at the scene of a recent break-in at a Jacksonville business. “It puts the burden on whoever is doing it,” he said. “Someone is going to talk about it.”

Twitchell said he had gotten a lot of calls from concerned residents regarding the obscenity in the shingles. “Everyone can see it,” said Janovsky.

Janovsky said he was fond of the Town Hill site, particularly after all the work he had done there over the years. “I was a kid once, too, I was a punk,” he said. “I never destroyed anything. But I left plenty of rubber on that hill.”

Board members unanimously approved a motion by Twitchell to offer a $1,000 reward to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest or conviction of the Town Hill vandals.
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