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Monterey’s Whitaker Park Bathrooms Closed Indefinitely Due To Vandalism

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Monterey’s Whitaker Park Bathrooms Closed Indefinitely Due To Vandalism

More park vandalism in our area as Monterey’s Whitaker Park bathrooms will be closed indefinitely after someone created a large water leak.

The restrooms are usually closed during the winter as a means of winterizing them under an agreement between the town of Monterey and Putnam County. That came earlier than normal, according to Monterey Cultural Administrator Rafferty Cleary, after someone kicked a toilet and created the leak.

“Periodically, and to be honest, frequently is a better word, things get broken,” Cleary said. “Things get graffitied. Vandalism occurs and we try our best to prevent that from happening.”

The park is located near Monterey’s middle and high schools with a trail that leads through the park from the schools. Cleary said he believes it is often students vandalizing the park after school.

“I think most of the time, they think it’s just fun,” Cleary said. “But it’s not. It’s a waste of resources, it’s a waste of time, and if they think it’s funny–if they think it’s a fun activity, I would just encourage them to think twice about that and think about who is actually paying for this.”

Cleary said there have been a number of instances of vandalism  already in 2023 including graffiti and damage to other bathroom fixtures. Cleary said he encourages Monterey residents who use the park to say something if they see something.

“We filled out police reports this last weekend for the incident,” said Cleary. “There are cameras at Whitaker Park. I don’t think people realize that, but the park is well-maintained with cameras. Good angles throughout the park, and we are reviewing the incident from Saturday to see if we can find out who was responsible.”

The bathrooms will be closed until further notice while the public works department works to repair the toilet, but no decision has been made about whether or not they’ll open back up before winterization begins.


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