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The playground at St. Leo's Church has instituted a few new restrictions in hopes to put an end to an ongoing vandalism and littering problem.
The pastoral council recently made this decision during one of its monthly meetings.
â€śIn that space, we found it necessary to protect the better interests of that playground to put restrictions on its use,â€ť said Father Brian Vossler.
â€śIt was an ongoing problem that we finally had to address.â€ť
The new playground regulations include: no smoking, no admittance after dark and no littering. The vandals will be prosecuted and police will patrol the area.
â€śWe just had to do something in response to the increasing problem we have here,â€ť said Vossler.â€ť
Some of the latest damages include a bench for the Aiello Memorial Garden that was cracked in two. A window to the back of the BiLo building was broken. The Crooked House has been a target of abuse, it has been damaged several times, tipped over and has had graffiti sprayed on it. The parking lot and sliding board have been defecated on.
The restrictions placed on other playgrounds in town has brought more traffic onto St. Leo's playground.
â€śWe certainly want people to benefit by using the playground as a shortcut, we certainly don't want to discourage that either,â€ť Vossler said. â€śWhat we want to avoid is people after dark hanging out and doing things over there that they shouldn't be doing.â€ť
Vossler mentioned that on the first evening the regulation signs were hung, two individuals had already destroyed them.
Vossler explained, â€śWe want to let the violators know that there will be consequences for their conduct.â€ť