James Yip said he reported missing and damaged clips on the pedestal of the Red Deer Cenotaph to RCMP and the City of Red Deer. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Red Deer Cenotaph assessed for damage

Normal wear and tear or vandalism

Concern has been raised about missing and damaged metal clips that protect the pedestal of the Red Deer cenotaph from skateboarders.

Red Deer resident James Yip said he noticed that a metal clip was missing, and another one was partially pulled away from the stone pedestal. Scuff marks are also visible on the pedestal’s edge.

He suspected it was either damage by skateboarders, or someone who wanted to remove the clips and sell them.

“I hate to see stuff like that going on. It’s showing disrespect to service members. It’s sad,” Yip said.

He said security personnel kept the downtown clear of mischief at the start of the pandemic, and suggested it might be time for a curfew or security cameras.

But parks superintendent Trevor Poth said the damage could just have easily happened during snow removal, as some of the damage has been there for a few months.

Likely it’s “pretty normal wear and tear both from operations, and probably a little bit of inappropriate use,” he said.

“There’s definitely been skateboard use there ever since it was built, but nothing that’s substantially different than previous years,” Poth said.

City skateboard parks were closed and fenced off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the bronze clips, which only cost a few dollars each, are replaced regularly.

“(Bronze clips) have no salvage value at all. Someone may have tried to steal one or two of them and taken them to a metal shop. They would have found out they’re not worth anything, like the plaques that are on memorial benches.”

Related:

Vandal(s) smash front doors of Red Deer museum

Red Deer man denounces vandalism to pro-life billboard

Poth said city staff are also addressing graffiti along city trails, which isn’t any worse than usual, but it’s taking a little longer to respond to with a smaller workforce and COVID-19 safety rules.

He said many people are using the trails and he encouraged them to report any unsafe conditions and maintain social distancing.

“We’re happy the public are enjoying our spaces.”

He said the city is still evaluating whether downtown summer beautification programs will proceed; for example, hanging flower baskets and planting annual flowers at City Hall Park.

Half of the plants in the park are perennials, so there will still be flowers blooming regardless of the decision.

The return of Ross Street Patio is also unknown, but the city previously announced that recreation and outdoor facilities will remain closed until June 30.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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