Roy to help with parks

May 7, 2012

ROY — With temperatures on the rise, Roy officials are pleading with residents to help keep parks and park bathrooms clean and free of graffiti and vandalism.

At a recent city council meeting some residents spoke out about the sad state of some park bathrooms and complained about some of them being locked during daytime hours.

Parks and Recreation Director Travis Flint is unsure of how the bathrooms became locked, because as of April 1 his people make the rounds first thing in the morning,opening bathrooms at the city parks,and don’t lock them until around 8:30 p.m. In past years when vandalism has been particularly bad, bathrooms are locked while things are repaired. He has yet to do that this spring, but there already have been issues with vandalism and unkept bathrooms.

Flint said his employees clean the bathrooms every day, but don’t always have control if things happen when they are not right there.

Mayor Joe Ritchie told the residents the city is aware of the bathroom situation and officials are working with Flint and his team to make sure issues are taken care of quickly.

“A great deal of vandalism goes on — M-80s in the toilet, writing on the walls. It makes it expensive to keep open,” he said.

This year so far, not all problems have resulted from malicious behavior — a broken soap dispenser or a clogged toilet, for example. Flint knows problems will come, though, because they do every year.

“It’s a hard thing to keep up. We can’t put a man outside the door,” Councilman Brad Hilton said.

Ritchie asked for suggestions from residents on how to keep the bathrooms and parks in general in better order when parks people can’t always be at every park.

City Manager Chris Davis said sometimes when areas of the park aren’t in use the bathrooms are locked, but that really isn’t the status quo.

Ritchie said the city has considered installing surveillance cameras, but while effective, it can be very pricey.

Flint suggested residents take ownership in the parks, because they are essentially their parks.

“Ninety-nine percent of the people are awesome. It’s just a few bad apples,” Flint said.

He would like to hear ideas from the public on keeping parks free of problems. The heavily used parks generally have few issues, he said,and parks that regularly have sporting events are rarely vandalized. The parks that don’t have a lot going on are targeted by bored kids.

The city has a contract with Weber County Juvenile Justice Court for juveniles on probation to clean up graffiti, but the city doesn’t always know about graffiti right away, so Flint encourages residents to be proactive in that regard. To report graffiti or any vandalism, or to suggest ways to prevent it, call 801-774-1048.