The City of Cold Lake is concerned that a social media trend encouraging illegal, destructive behavior in public places could affect services at the Energy Centre.
Persistent damage and vandalism have caused unsafe conditions and brought significant cost in repairing damages. City administration is looking into ways to control the situation to mitigate the damage being caused. This may include limiting access points to the facility or shutting down certain amenities, such as some of the washrooms, during certain hours.
Cold Lake Municipal Enforcement and the RCMP are aware of the trend, and are taking steps to curb the behavior it is causing. The City also asks members of the public with knowledge of the acts of vandalism to come forward. To date, one significant fine has been levied to a youth who was charged under the City of Cold Lake’s vandalism bylaw. The trend, however, continues and maintenance and repair bills are mounting. The City is also considering offering a reward for information that leads to the culprits being caught and charged.
“This is a public facility that was built and is maintained with public money,” City of Cold Lake’s Chief Administrative Officer, Kevin Nagoya, said. “We strive to provide the maximum amount of access to public facilities possible, however, the level of contempt we have seen means that we may be forced to take extraordinary measures to protect our community’s asset.”
The City of Cold Lake regrets any inconvenience that future limitations to access points or amenities may cause, but asks the public to respect the closures and follow directions on posted signage. Should limitations or closures become necessary, the City will strive to notify users in advance and will attempt to limit the actions taken to the hours when the damage is occurring. The City will also work to resume regular operations once it is apparent that the behavior has been curbed.
Limitations are most likely to be placed on the facility Monday through Friday between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m.