Posted 7/21/15 (Tue)
By Kevin Killough and Nicky Ouellet
Despite an arrest last week in a graffiti case, the vandalism continues.
“It’s getting old,” said Ray Crain, who manages Tioga’s parks.
The Tioga City Commission on Monday supported strict police enforcement of an existing curfew ordinance to combat vandals.
The commission also took action to approve a liquor license for the Bucking Buffalo, over the objections of other bar owners.
A memorial bench donated by the family of the late Dorothy Dahl is the latest target of vandals.
Last month, vandals tagged several buildings with graffiti depicting male genitalia. Fortunately for police, the perpetrators were so proud of their work, they bragged to friends. The loose talk about the crime eventually led to citations for those responsible.
Since they are juveniles, police could not release their identities.
“That portion of the case has been solved,” said Police Administrator Jeff Spivey.
However, it appears there are more people involved in the ongoing acts of destruction. A couple weeks ago, police found graffiti on a gazebo at one of the city parks, and early Friday morning, vandals broke a granite memorial bench.
“It’s quite certain it’s more than one party involved,” Spivey said.
Damage to the bench could exceed $2,000, which would make it a felony.
Several other vandalism incidents, all involving public property at the parks, have been reported since last fall. With the cases multiplying, Spivey discussed with city commissioners Monday the enforcement of an existing curfew.
The law forbids anyone under the age of 14 from being out during the summer past 11 p.m., unless accompanied by an adult. Teens ages 14 to 17 are not allowed out after 1 a.m., unless accompanied by an adult.
Commissioners agreed the times outlined in the ordinance are reasonable, even when considering special, late-night events. A newspaper notice will give parents two weeks warning before the police begin enforcing the law in earnest.
“This is going to keep happening, and more things are going to get broke, and it’s just not right,” said Commissioner Ronda Davidson. “Why have these laws if we’re not going to enforce them?”
Spivey said parents should be aware of what their children are doing at night.
“Parents need to step up,” he said.
He hopes the arrest last week will result in a sentence that sends a message to others, while doing some good for the community.
“I’m hoping the juvenile courts will issue some serious community service,” he said.
Liquor license okayed
After several weeks of emotional discussion, the council approved a liquor license for the Bucking Buffalo. Representatives of local bars appeared before the board to make a final plea to protect their businesses, but commissioners said the new convention center deserves the same limitations and benefits as the established bars.
There was discussion about separating the bar and restaurant from the convention hall and issuing separate licenses to each, but ultimately the commisison approved the entire building for an on-sale liquor license.
In other business:
nSpivey reported an eviction order served Monday on Kick n’ Fit gym, giving them three days to vacate the premises. This comes after the gym failed to meet the move-out deadline for a previously approved lease extension. The space is needed for a city hall remodel project.
nApproved two building permits for KDAK LLC. The permits were delayed until a ruling from the state Attorney General determined the city has no jurisdiction over homeowner complaints.