Vandalism adds delay to Upstate park opening

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GAFFNEY, S.C. (WSPA)- When leaders of Cherokee County decided they needed to provide more things for people to do, they built the Cherokee Ford Recreation Area.

Set to open months ago, the recreation area has softball and baseball field, a playground, and a mile long trial.

COOVID-19 was a factor in the delay, but several acts of vandalism on the property have pushed the opening back even further.

“We want to let these people in this county to enjoy something for a minimum price or nothing,” Executive Director of Recreation, Marcus Bradley said. “There’s certain people that just don’t want that to happen for whatever reason.”

Bradley said that gates, locks, and several signs were damaged, but the biggest issue is the damage done by vandals driving four-wheelers through the hiking trails, causing them to have to relocate the walking are.

Thousands of dollars later, they’ve been able to fix a lot of the damage and hope to be able to open soon.

Before they can reopen, Bradley said they’re going to have to do more to keep this from happening again.

“We’re going to have someone down here basically full time to come down here and police this area,” Bradley said. “Then secondly we’re going to have to get video cameras and a surveillance system.”

The county has yet to find who is responsible for the crime .

Anyone with information surrounding the most recent incident is asked to contact the Cherokee Recreation Office at (864) 489-6036. There is a $500 reward for any information that leads to an arrest.

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