Public pathway vandalized at LOT site
Just three days after a construction fence was removed and a new pedestrian pathway unofficially opened adjacent to the Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership (LOT) treatment plant in West Linn, significant vandalism was reported at the property.
According to LOT Citizen Information Specialist Katy Kerklaan, a call from a neighbor early Sunday morning led to the discovery of about 100 plants uprooted and strewn about the pathway and public park space at the site. Irrigation boxes were also tampered with and a portable toilet was pushed over near Mapleton Drive.
In all, the damage was estimated at about $1,500 according to LOT Project Director Joel Komarek.
"The damage occurred sporadically across the whole (park and path) area," Kerklaan said. "Some plants were thrown over the secure perimeter wall, tossed over into the treatment plant. Others were uprooted and thrown on the ground."
Komarek said a police report was filed, mostly to raise awareness in case a similar situation arises again.
"The sad thing about all of this is that this is really the neighborhood's park area, and it's unfortunate that someone in the neighborhood, I guess — who knows? — felt like they needed to go raise some havoc," Komarek said.
If vandalism continues at the property, LOT may take measures to increase security at the site.
"I'm hoping this is a one-time event, and won't happen again," Komarek said. "If it does, we have to rethink our security camera placement and may go as far as to place additional cameras around that could observe the public area. We'll take a wait-and-see approach to see if heightened awareness is impediment enough so it won't happen again."
LOT also planned to communicate with neighbors about the incident in advance of the ribbon cutting ceremony for the path, which is still scheduled for Aug. 31.
"This is a neighborhood park area, open to neighbors in the area," Kerklaan said. "Hopefully, it can be respected and used for the benefit of everyone."