Old Town Rotarian Jeff Pauli had a rude awakening Thursday morning when he came across a graffiti-laden Carson Park building, souring recent park improvements sponsored by Old Town Rotary.
“Our largest capital improvement is the replacement of the building with an ADA compliant bathroom and concession building,” Pauli told the Times-Standard in an email Thursday. “I will personally put up a $1,000 reward to the tipster who calls the authorities with leads to the arrest and conviction of the lowlife cowards who defaced the Carson Park building.”
According to Pauli, Old Town Rotary has adopted the park, resurfacing and restriping the basketball court as well as rebuilding the park’s barbecue and picnic tables with future plans for the installation of soccer goals.
While Old Town Rotary had already planned several fundraisers to benefit Carson Park, including a recent Yahtzee tournament, a March 8 art auction, and beer and wine service at the Salt & Fog Fish Festival in late April, it worried Thursday it would have to divert some of the funds to clean up after what Pauli called a “random act of stupidity.”
“To see the vandalism this morning was a real kick to the stomach,” Pauli wrote Thursday.
Fortunately for Pauli, the city’s Department of Community Services spray-washed the building on Thursday at an estimated cost to the city of $600, according to Director of Community Services Miles Slattery, who said he’s not sure whether the act is connected to the recent outbreak of graffiti tagging in Eureka.
Repainting the building would cost around $3,500, Pauli said.
Old Town Rotary are having a Rhododendron Festival at Carson Park following the parade on April 27, which will help to raise funds for ongoing improvements.
“If someone wants to contribute to Old Town Rotary efforts, we are accepting community donations,” Pauli added.
Representatives from the Eureka Police Department were not available for comment by the Times-Standard publishing deadline.
In response to the spate of similar vandalism across the city in recent weeks, however, Eureka police have created an online survey property owners can access to provide detailed information about graffiti left on their property and for the Eureka Chamber of Commerce. Property owners who have been vandalized can report the damage at the survey page by visiting the website https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GYQNRJ3. The Eureka Police Department’s non-emergency line is 707-441-4044.
Robert Peach can be reached at 707-441-0503.