Parksville city staff will investigate additional security measures for the new outdoor theatre and around the community park.
Council voted in favour of a motion by Coun. Marilyn Wilson during its most recent meeting.
Wilson said she heard concerns from city staff while on a tour of the new facility.
“Vandalism has gone through the roof,” said Belinda Woods, director of operations. She added the park recently saw incidents including someone driving through fencing, which caused $9,000 in damage, and a fire in the community park washrooms that cost $1,500 to repair.
Woods also indicated there have been multiple safety issues affecting city staff working in Parksville Community Park.
Coun. Teresa Patterson asked if the security measures could be included as a budget item at a future budget discussion. Woods replied there is a significant gap in time before the next budget discussion. She added the security measures are a “very low ask” for staff time and will save time in the long run.
Woods said the city could install additional casings around the outdoor theatre to prevent vandalism and fires, including fencing at the back of the facility to prevent people from entering that area.
She also suggested security patrols could be put in place to help.
“It’s not just the outdoor theatre, it’s the entire park,” Woods said. “We’ve had kin hut washrooms destroyed once this year already, we’ve had the fire in the other bathrooms.”
She said the city is even considering trimming trees to create better sight lines and more lighting.
Coun. Al Greir said he liked some of the suggestions, but believes it is inevitable the theatre will be targeted.
“No matter what you put in there, there’s going to be vandalism,” he said.