Lower Saucon Township Council members reacted with shock and dismay when Township Manager Jack Cahalan revealed Wednesday night that had been badly vandalized.
During his report at council's Oct. 19 meeting, Cahalan informed them that someone had taken a reciprocating saw to playground equipment and the park's picnic pavilion, which he said were damaged in the incident.
In a press release issued Thursday, Lower Saucon police confirmed Cahalan's report, stating that "persons cut sections of the Little Tykes gymnasium with a saw blade, cut one of the pavilion posts with a saw blade, and wrote numerous profane messages on the posts."
And the damage, which is estimated at $5,000, did not end there.
"The aluminum gutters to the pavilion were also damaged along with steel tables/benches. Someone also defecated in the urinal at the porta-john," police added.
Cahalan said there have been other acts of vandalism at the park in the past--including one in which the park's sign was sawed in half--but noted that these incidents are particularly "troubling" in light of the township's commitment to making $100,000 in upgrades to Steel City Park next year.
"It just concerns me about this occurring up there," he told council, adding that a meeting to discuss the renovations is scheduled with consultants in November.
Council member Priscilla deLeon suggested that a public meeting between the township's parks and recreation board and Steel City residents be scheduled to discuss the vandalism and how to prevent similar acts from happening in the future.
Calling her proposal a "park watch" meeting, deLeon agreed that the vandalism "could really affect (the improvements)."
Cahalan said police had canvassed the neighborhood surrounding the park after the vandalism was discovered by a township road crew the morning of Oct. 19, but indicated that there are no real leads.
"No one saw or heard anything," he told council.
In their press release, Lower Saucon police forcefully indicated that they want to solve the case by asking that "anyone with information about these ridiculous acts of stupidity...contact the Lower Saucon Township Police Department."
The number to contact the department is 610-317-6110.