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Vandals steal property at new Elizabethtown Park

Cowbells taken from Footbridge Park

Footbridge Park in Elizabethtown.

Footbridge Park in Elizabethtown. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Town and county officials are extremely upset after another episode of vandalism at the Footbridge Park.

Elizabethtown Supervisor Margaret Bartley said that, sometime between Thursday, March 15 and Friday, March 16, vandals went to the park and removed a set of musical cowbells from a stand in the park area.

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The most recent vandalism at the Footbridge Park in Elizabethtown was the theft of cowbells mounted to a poll along the walking trail.

“It was a series of cowbells on a stand that were cut off,” Bartley said. “The things that held them in place were cut, and we are going to offer a $100 reward for information that leads to the return of the bells and the person or persons who took them.”

Bartley said that a report has been made to the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, and that this is not the first instance of vandalism at the park.

“There is a pattern of this going on,” Bartley explained, saying that earlier in the year a picnic table had to be fished out of the river.

“Now that we have valuable items that have not just been damaged but stolen, we are going to get serious about this.”

Bartley said that she has asked the Sheriff’s Office for increased patrols when in the area and that there would be repercussions from these actions.

“I will prosecute, and this will go to court,” Bartley said.

Bartley said that the reward money will be taken from the Elizabethtown Benefit fund and not from the General Fund of the town budget.

Jessica Darney Buehler of the Essex County Department of Public Health, who helped procure the funding for the park through the Creating Healthy Places grant program, said the vandalism is upsetting.

“It is so disgusting to think that somebody would take the action to destroy a new public piece of property that was created through grant funding and a volunteer effort to help improve the community,” Buehler said. “Whoever did this cut the bells off with some kind of metal clippers, so they would have had to work pretty hard to get them out.”

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