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Casting light on a problem
Vandals shooting out lights at Stone Lake
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 It is too bad some folks don’t have the common decency to respect public property.

This could be said about a lot of things locally, including the thugs who riddle rural signs with shotgun blasts. But the most recent example comes from within the Great Bend city limits.

It was mentioned at the Great Bend City Council meeting Monday night that there is an on-going problem with people (and this term is used loosely) shooting out the lights on the south side of Stone Lake. There are currently three pole-mounted lights in the area and Wheatland Electric has been having to replace them regularly.

Now, the electric company is in the hole financially just keeping that shoreline illuminated. So, Wheatland contacted the city to see what it wanted to do next.

There is not much the city can do.

It is cost prohibitive, and impractical, to station a police officer at the site from dawn to dusk. Surveillance cameras could also become the targets of vandals.

The council directed officials to look at more sturdier lighting options and some form of video system. Good steps, but it will be difficult to catch a glimpse of these hit-and-run criminals who can vanish into the darkness after they’ve had their fun.

What makes this especially sad is that the city has hopes of developing the Stone Lake area further. Long-range plans include the possibility of turning the park into a complete recreational area, something Great Bend could really use.

Such vandalism could give city fathers pause.

However, we can’t let these cretins win. It is hoped that the city will proceed with whatever plans they have.

It is just sad that so few bad apples could ruin what is potentially a good thing for the rest of us.

Dale Hogg