Vandals Cause Thousands in Damage to Merrill Parks

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Park activity in Merrill usually slows down toward the end of summer, but in the last three weeks it has been increasing-- and not in a way police want it to be.

Dan Wendorf has been the Merrill Park Manager for the last 12 years. He says the damage, which now amounts to thousands, is the worst he's ever seen.

Wendorf said in the last three weeks, the 17 parks in the city, Kichenette Park and Stang Park have gotten the brunt damage.

To those passing by, the damage may look like storm damage. But Wendorf says the snapped saplings are results of vandals climbing up and sliding down the trees.

"Some people may think its funny... But its not . It's dangerous and it costs tax payers money. We'd rather spend our money on park beautification and recreational programming."

He says soap dispensers have been ripped off walls. Toilets clogged and feces were smeared on the walls.

"We’ve had dumpsters flipped over. PortaPotties flipped over...” he explained.

So far, there's been about $5,000 in damage and if they don't find the vandals, taxpayers will have to pay until they do.

The park manager also says last week a hot tub was left in the driveway at Kitchenette. Which means a lot of heavy lifting and obviously more money to hire people to get it out.

If you have any information about the vandalism, contact the Merrill Police Department at (715) 536-8311.

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