Morgan County vandals seem fixated on public toilets

MORGAN COUNTY, Ind.– Morgan County Parks officials say their facilities have been targeted once again by vandals who seem fixated on their public toilets.

On Dec. 30, a handicap-accessible portable toilet from Burkhart Creek was found dumped on the side of the road about three miles from the park. It’s the fourth time the park’s portable bathroom has been targeted for theft or vandalism, according to parks board member Vollita Fritsche.

This portable toilet was left a big mess when it was dumped on the side of the road December 30, 2018.

“You know, there’s lots of other things you could do than steal the toilets,” Fritsche said. “I know it’s kind of a joke for some people, but when people steal them it costs the taxpayers money.”

Replacing a large handicap-accessible porta-pot can cost up to $3,000, according to the Bloomington company that rents to the Parks Department. The department pays about $300 per month for rental and maintenance on the toilets.

“I know it’s kind of a joke for some people, but when people steal them it costs the taxpayers money,” Fritsche said. “Are we doing right by furnishing these things, costing the people money? Do we keep them or don’t we? Most people want them.”

This was the fourth time somebody has stolen or smashed one of the portable toilets at Burkhart Creek. The last time one was stolen, it was never found, Fritsche said. Before that, somebody smashed through a chain link fence in order to get to it.

This picnic table was badly damaged after somebody threw it down a river embankment in July, 2018.

Since the summer of 2018, other facilities in other areas have also been vandalized. Fritsche says somebody threw a picnic table down a river embankment, where it smashed on on the ground. A historic plaque was stolen, and park maps were removed and replaced with trash.

“It does anger us when they destroy things that people work so hard to keep nice for the community,” Fritsche said.

Fritsche says the Morgan County Parks Board is discussing the installation of a trail camera system to heighten security around the parks. Anyone with information about the vandalism and thefts is asked to call the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department.

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