In a message distributed to local media and through South Frontenac Township’s social media and mailing lists, Mayor Ron Vandewal appealed to the community to bring an end to a large string of thefts and incidents of destruction or vandalism to public properties.
The message from the Mayor, dated Thursday, Jul. 21, 2022, outlined just some of the damages to and thefts from various South Frontenac recreational facilities and amenities, while speaking to the community about the impacts of the destructive actions.
“While it is not uncommon for communities to occasionally experience theft and vandalism in relation to public amenities, there seems to have been an increase this summer that has left Council, staff, and members of the public very disheartened,” Vandewal said in the message.
“Not only does this damage have a significant impact on Township finances and staff resources, but it also negatively affects many community groups and residents that utilise these parks and facilities.”
The list of damages and thefts relayed from the Township is as follows:
The Point Park in Sydenham
- Small dock stolen
- Camp building broken into and vandalized
- Bathrooms graffitied
- Damages to Netsport Courts
Centennial Park in Harrowsmith
- Soccer netting stolen
- Pavilion vandalized with graffiti
Gerald Ball Park in Sunbury
- Brand new bleacher tops stolen
- Complete soccer net system stolen
Gilmour Point Park in Battersea
- New camp building broken into and heavily vandalized
- Beach and park littered with garbage, beer cans, and broken glass
Battersea Ball Park
- Intentional fire damage to canteen
Sydenham Public Library
- Building exterior graffitied/vandalized
A selection of photographs showing some of aftermath of these incidents were included with the Mayor’s message, as seen above and below.
“With the amount of damage experienced this year, I am appealing to our community for support,” he said.
Vandewal went on to ask South Frontenac residents to “keep an eye on local parks, be vigilant, and report any suspicious activity.” Such activity should be reported to the South Frontenac Public Services department during the day (residents can call the 613-376-3027, ext. 4331, which auto connects to the afterhours answering system after Township offices close for the day), or to the after-hours emergency line at 613-376-3027. He also noted that, should residents witness actions that pose an immediate threat, those residents should dial 9-1-1.
“To those that may have had a hand in causing these damages – I ask that you consider your neighbours, friends, and family when choosing to take part in destructive actions. The costs to repair or replace these facilities are ultimately paid by the taxpayer and negatively impact those in your community,” Vandewal said in conclusion. “It is my hope that this message will resonate with our community so that we can move forward and continue to be the South Frontenac that I know and love – natural, vibrant, and growing.”