Archive for Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Window broken, decals stolen in vandalism at public library

May 23, 2007

Vandals struck the Tonganoxie Public Library sometime Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

Sharon Moreland, library director, said she was contacted Sunday by one of the library's employees about a broken window on the southeast side of the library.

Moreland said she was disappointed the library would be the intended target of vandalism.

"This is the most destruction intended and directed toward the library" in the library's history, she said.

The rocks that were thrown at the window went through the first pane of the tempered Pella glass but not the second.

The vandals also peeled off decals that have the city's logo and the library's hours of operation that are on the outside of the building.

The windows will cost around $270 to replace and the decals about $150 to replace and install. That money will have to come out of the library's general funds because the damage wasn't enough for insurance to cover, Moreland said.

Tonganoxie Mayor Mike Vestal said he was disappointed to hear about the vandalism.

"I don't know if they don't have anything better to do or what," he said about the people involved in the incident. "It costs us taxpayers money to repair that stuff."

To help with the situation, Vestal said he would ask police to increase their night patrols in the area.

Susan Weston, vice president of the Tonganoxie Library Board, said that there has been talk about increasing lighting behind the library for several months now, but there hasn't been much discussion about installing security cameras until after last weekend's incident.

Now the library board will vote during this month's meeting on getting money in the 2008 budget for a security camera.

As another means of preventing future vandalism, Moreland said the new decals will have the adhesive on the front instead of the back so they can be placed on the inside of the building.

Moreland said that she has seen people around the library after closing, either parked in the lot or on the benches in front of the doors using the library's free wireless Internet. She said she didn't mind people using that service but doesn't want them there if "they are just loitering and being destructive."

In October of 2004 someone threw a brick through the front door of the library after a Tonganoxie High School basketball game with Piper. Two years later a rock was accidentally thrown near the library and broke a window on the north side of the library. And on two separate occasions, the flags in front of the library have been stolen.

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