Work to repair vandalism & drug activity being done at Rochester park bathrooms

(ABC 6 News) – The City of Rochester continues to work to reopen bathrooms at city parks.

They were June 23 to be cleaned and repaired after vandalism and drug-related activity the city said in a press release.

“Closing the restrooms was not an arbitrary or an easy decision. Over the past several weeks, we have seen an increase in vandalism, needles and other drug paraphernalia and disturbing incidents involving human feces. Park users and our city teammates have reported these occurrences. The vandalism often leaves exposed electric wires or sharp edges, which create an unsafe environment for all,” Parks and Recreation Director Paul Widman said.

“In recent weeks, RPD has seen an increase in calls for service at some of the parks. Our team is working with Parks & Recreation to help ensure a safe environment exists for community members to enjoy,” Rochester Police Captain Jeff Stilwell said.

“The City of Rochester has been working to address the topic and challenging issues associated with inappropriate uses of public spaces in parks and other locations, some of which has been related to those experiencing homelessness.  Unfortunately, the current issues came to a peak late last week and there was an immediate need to act, to assure when reopened the facilities can be kept safe and clean.  The safety of our community is a top priority and this action reflected that prioritization,” City Administrator Alison Zelms said.

The city says it hopes to reopen all facilities by June 30. Any that remain closed will have portable bathrooms in place.