Vandals take toll on district
Acts of vandalism are costing ratepayers thousands of dollars each year.
South Waikato District Council said these figures are an unnecessary cost.
Council communications manager Kerry Fabrie said vandalism is horrific and pointless.
‘‘When people rip plants out, when anti-social behaviour rips plants out, nine times out of 10, it’s actually not the council that plants them but it’s our children. Volunteers from the community plant them,’’ Ms Fabrie said.
Acts of vandalism include young trees being snapped in half, tagging, sign damage and vehicle damage at sports grounds.
Between $8000 and $12,000 is spent every month repairing damage to plants, and street trees and vehicle damage to sports and reserves grounds.
Around $10,000 is budgeted each year for litter bin maintenance and replacements, and $15,000 is budgeted for footpath cleansing each year.
However, repairing and replacing road signs is costing $6000 every month.
‘‘It costs $57 to install a new sign and post but there are the materials costs on top of that. They can vary between $40 for smaller parking signs to $180 for larger stop/give way signs. Also the popular street name blades are about $80 depending on the number of letters,’’ Ms Fabrie said.
The larger rural roads like Wiltsdown Rd, Old Taupo Rd, Mossop Rd and Campbell Rd are the worst affected areas for sign damage.
Between $48,000 and $50,000 is also funded every year to combat tagging.
Ms Fabrie said about $249,000 resulting from vandalism was put back on ratepayers last year.
VANDALISM: The Putaruru Plaza joined a long list of Council-owned buildings that were vandalised this year.