Park cameras aid with vandalism investigation

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By ROD KING
For IN|FW Newspapers

The New Haven Adams Township Parks & Recreation Board met in an abbreviated session the evening of Sept. 3. The open meeting was just prior to a closed, executive session at the New Haven Community Center.

The board learned that the New Haven Police Department is investigating the person suspected of vandalizing the Moser Park restroom building on Aug. 18.

Parks Superintendent Mike Clendenen reported that the recently upgraded surveillance cameras were helpful in identifying the individual who was shown setting off fireworks in the building.

The park at 601 Main St. is the home of the nature center that hosts hands-on educational programs during the summer. The park also is a trailhead for paths and the home to several sports facilities.

A firework destroyed a soap dispenser and left marks on the floor. The restrooms were closed for about 24 hours before park personnel completed cleanup.

Clendenen also announced that a public meeting to discuss the four projects under development in the Meadowbrook Rural Revival Target Area would be held at the Community Center at 6 p.m. Sept. 11.

Stacey McDaniel, president of the Meadowbrook Community Association, attended the Sept. 3 meeting and had several questions for the board. First was the fact that the association had donated $3,000 more than three years ago to plant trees on Chamberlin Court and that no trees had been planted. She was inquiring to learn if their money was indeed to be used for the trees and if not, where did it go?

Clendenden said that “the money donated by the association will be used to plant trees throughout the neighborhood this fall. It was originally to be used to make a buffer between the Community Center and the neighborhood but other projects delayed it.”

McDaniel also said the association had donated around $8,000 years ago toward renovating the pool house (the pool was closed several years ago). She and other neighbors had spent hours recently cleaning it up. It’s presently being used for Park Board storage and has been heavily vandalized over the years. “My question is,” she said, “will the association get to use the building as a community center?”

In answering, Clendenen said “that donation, along with money from the Lions Club, was used to renovate the bath house several years ago. The building will not be torn down. We hope it can be fixed up so it can be utilized. Several things need work. The floor needs to be leveled and the plumbing, which was damaged by vandals, is in bad shape. After these things have been repaired, we can better determine its usability.”

McDaniel also said she had received many complaints and concerns about the flower and butterfly mural on the side of the pool house. She said she hoped that in the future the association could be included in picking a design for the building.

In other business:

• As of December the Community Center will have a new office receptionist. She is Allison Sherwood who is in training to succeed Cortney Tracey who will be leaving to get married. Tracey had held the position for the past three years. Sherwood, a New Haven native, has worked in various customer service jobs throughout the Fort Wayne area for the past 10 years and is pleased to be back home.

• Aquatics Director Kim Yoh reported that Jury Pool closed the season just 100 persons short of eclipsing the second-best attendance record since opening.