hit by troubles
Michael Whitney photo
Hill Park has portable toilets, seen here May 17, because somebody broke the bathroom doors, the city said.
SNOHOMISH — Ferguson Park's bathrooms are locked, and so are the ones at Hill Park at Blackman Lake, the Tribune saw Wednesday, May 17.
Evidence of drug use in Ferguson Park's bathrooms is why the city closed those, city spokeswoman Shari Ireton said.
It doesn't plan to offer portable toilets there, either, out of the assumption drug use would happen in those, Ireton outlined by email.
"We are discussing how to address this for the future so there is some sort of bathroom facility for public use" at Ferguson Park, Ireton said.
Ferguson Park’s bathrooms were open for about a mere month this spring. The city doesn’t plan to make them available except for park rentals, Ireton said.
At Hill Park, the bathrooms are temporarily closed because somebody kicked in the bathroom doors, Ireton said. The city’s working to fix these to reopen the Hill Park bathrooms.
Two portable toilets serve Hill Park’s visitors while its bathrooms are locked.
Park vandalism is an annual headache which is causing the city to have to consider its resources of staff time and money. At its worst in recent years, someone started a fire inside Ferguson Park’s bathroom that cost the city $80,000 to clean up and
restore. The resulting fix was installing a whole new interior made of stainless steel.
Lake Stevens resident William Cass came to fish Blackman Lake. One of the immediate things he said he noticed is that an electrical panel was bent open at the lower picnic shelter. He said that’s dangerous for little kids who could get hurt.
He’s certain the city is aware it needs fixing since maintenance crews mow the grass.
“The park’s a nice little gem, but they should keep up with it,” Cass said.
In fall 2020, a different electrical panel was ripped off the picnic shelter with its wires torn out. That hasn’t been replaced, Ireton said.
The city is actively looking to add security cameras at three parks — Ferguson Park, Hill Park and Pilchuck Park — and beef up security at other city facilities. It has a call for vendors out through mid-June to select a security system contractor.
The request is for smart surveillance cameras that can detect people in the parks after-hours, for example. The police department also might be able to look at the cameras on-the-fly using the internet if the vendor can offer it. This kind of technology already is common for home wireless security systems.
Pilchuck Park is currently under re-construction and will open later this summer.
The city’s parks close at dusk. People are encouraged to call 911 if they observe anything suspicious.
See something, say something
People can report damages within the city by text message. Text “REPORT” to 360-282-0094. It is a text-only line.
City Hall’s phone number is 360-282-3115 for phone calls.
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