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Official: Vandalism Spree in Durham Costly to Taxpayers

Public Works Director Kurt Bober says vandals have caused about $3,000 worth damage to road signs in the town in recent weeks. The vandals have also damaged private and public property.

 

A recent vandalism spree in Durham has resulted in more than $3,000 worth of damage to street signs as well as an unknown amount of damage to public and private property, according to a town official.

Durham Public Works Director Kurt Bober told Patch on Friday that town workers have been kept busy over the past month.

"It's aggravating to say the least, that we're wasting taxpayer dollars to do this," Bober said.

State police have reportedly stepped up patrols in Durham, including at White Farm where the vandals recently tore up fields. State police are also investigating similar incidents at Strickland Farm and near Independent Day School in Middlefield.

In April, on Haddam Quarter Road, although it's not clear if that incident is connected to the most recent vandalism.

This week several road signs were found dumped in a ravine near Maiden Lane and Johnson Lane, Bober said.

The vandalism has caused concern among town officials due to the potential safety hazard involved. Bober said his staff has been forced to .

"If it's just a street sign or a 25 mph sign, we can deal with that. But when we hear of these street signs, it takes hours to go around and assess, hours to get all of the stuff, if we don't have it we have to reorder it. That can take two weeks," he said.

Bober said the town keeps an inventory of signs in case of accidents, but he's seen that inventory depleted lately. 

"Once in a while we get down to two, then I tell them to try to scrub that spray paint off because a faded out stop sign is better than no stop sign."

A new street sign cost $125, according to Bober. The amount doesn't include the cost of labor to install the sign or the price of redirecting workers who are busy taking care of other jobs.

"We've got to interrupt the work we're already doing to go take care of this," Bober said.

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