Foun­tain soap pranks cost the city thou­sands

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - MIKE PEAR­SON Stoney Creek News

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.

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