Fountain soap pranks cost the city thousands
A city official says “soaping” incidents are on the rise at Stoney Creek’s Augustus Jones Fountain at King Street and New Mountain Road.
And with cleanup costs amounting to more than $2,000 this year alone, it’s no laughing matter.
City parks and cemeteries manager Kara Bunn said the fountain has been soaped eight times this year. It was soaped five times last year.
Hamilton public works staffers were on the scene July 28 dealing with the latest incident.
Soaping a fountain is considered vandalism. On average, it costs the city $280 every time the Augustus Jones Fountain is soaped, a bill that includes water costs and staff time.
“If there is a lot of soap, it is quite difficult for staff to clean up,” Bunn wrote in an email. “We add fabric softener to get rid of the bubbles and then need to flush the fountain to clear the soap. Gallons of water are wasted — the more soap, the more water we need to use to flush the fountain.”
Anyone caught soaping the fountain can be on the hook for cleanup costs, Bunn noted.
Augustus Jones, who lived from 1757 to 1836, was a farmer, United Empire Loyalist, land speculator, magistrate and militia captain.
He’s best known as a Crown surveyor who lived in Saltfleet Township. Jones was responsible for most of the township boundaries in the Niagara area and along the northern shoreline of Lake Ontario.