Tecumseh's city manager told the city council Monday night that he is looking at putting more lights in Slick Humphrey Park and possibly putting up security cameras there because of ongoing problems with "destructive behavior."
City Manager Jimmy Stokes said the destructive behavior hasn't been vandalism, but involves things such as persons taking picnic tables apart for use as ramps as well as being rough with some of the playground equipment.
The city, with help of a grant, has made many improvements to the park, including a new skate park and playground equipment, a walking trail, new restroom facilities, among other things.
"We've spent too much money to let people tear it up," Stokes said. "We're not going to tolerate it."
While discussion included the fact that Tecumseh police officers are patrolling and issuing some juveniles tickets, all agreed the officers can't be at the park at all times.
City Attorney Mike Warwick, who also serves as the juvenile docket judge, said Monday's docket included four juveniles who received tickets for offenses at the park, but none of them were vandalism.
"The police department is out there patrolling," he said.
Stokes, who said Tecumseh already has one of the nicer skate parks, said there's no need for items being destroyed for that purpose.
"If I have to put up a tent and sleep in the creek, it will stop,
Stokes told the council.
Warwick, who said there's a $275 fine for those who skateboard in the pavilion area, said while police are doing a good job, damage at parks is sometimes the cost of doing business, although consequences for actions may make a difference.
Mayor Eddy Parker said he also hoped hitting the pocketbooks could have a deterrent effect.
"If you put up something nice in a city, somebody will abuse it no matter what you do," Warwick said.
In other business:
• Tecumseh has received an A- bond rating, Stokes reported, so it is believed the city will see about $110,000 savings in interest charges each year on bonds that are being sold today to fund the water line project from Wes Watkins Reservoir.
As part of that effort, Stokes reported that of 17 properties involving right-of-way access for the water line, they have secured 11 so far.
• Stokes also said he's hoping for a lot of rainfall this spring to help fill Tecumseh Lake. Tecumseh, which is purchasing water from Shawnee right now to service its city residents, has been asked by Shawnee officials to begin producing half of the town's supply starting in May and purchasing half from Shawnee.
Page 2 of 2 - "I'm hoping it comes a flood in the spring," Stokes said, adding it could be mid-July before the Wes Watkins supply line to Tecumseh can be completed.
With lake levels going down everywhere, "People in Pottawatomie County need to start conserving water," he said.
• Concerning the widening project for Gordon Cooper Drive, Stokes reported the city has secured 21 of 28 rights-of-way for that project.