GALLIPOLIS — City officials are trying to determine who vandalized the municipal swimming pool and surrounding city-owned venues.
Two overturned portable toilets were discovered early Monday morning by city workers entering into the city pool facility. The portable toilets are located near the skate park.
City staff also discovered two picnic tables in the city pool during a regular check of pH levels, according to pool manager Bradie Angell. She said workers found the tables and portable toilets at about 6:30 a.m. Monday, about a half-hour before the regularly schedule 7-9 a.m. adult swim session.
City officials believe the incidents occurred sometime Sunday night or early Monday morning.
Normal pool hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.
“It should go without saying that people shouldn’t do this,” Angell said.
City Manager Gene Greene was more direct, saying whoever trespasses on city-owned property is subject to prosecution.
“Next thing you know, they’ll be breaking into the concession stand and it’ll be an ongoing thing,” he said. “I will prosecute whoever did this. There won’t be any ifs, ands or buts about it. I won’t care if they’re 12 years old or 20 years old.
“We’ve worked our tail off to get (the pool) up and running and so far it’s been a positive effort. It’s been really good. We don’t want one or two people ruining it for the rest of us.”
Greene said Literacy Night at the pool has, thus far, been a success, attracting more than 400 children. Every Tuesday and Thursday between 6:30-8:30 p.m., Gallia County Local and Gallipolis City schools sponsor a Literacy Night. Free admission is granted to students who bring a book.
Breaking into city-owned property, Greene said, is a felony offense.
“If a person breaks into a locked facility that belongs to a municipality, it’s a felony,” he said. “Maybe they’ll get the message.”
Greene said Gallipolis city police plan to step up patrols in and around the pool area.
“If they get caught, there won’t be any getting out of it,” he said.
The pool closes Aug. 16 for the season.