Cold Lake – The men's washroom at the Cold Lake Energy Centre is closed until further notice after "extensive vandalism" took place, according to the City of Cold Lake.
Located near the stairs to the second floor, by the fireplace in the main hall, the men’s bathroom has been closed after being damaged just a couple days prior to the City making the announcement on Nov. 17.
Damage was extensive and includes toilets being pushed off mounts and flooded, damaged toilet partitions, sinks and vanities pulled loose, taps and automatic sensors broken, graffiti, broken soap dispensers, and more.
“We are very upset by this attack on our facility,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. "We know we are also not alone in this increase in vandalism and destruction in our community. We have been given reports of businesses and residences also being targeted, and the costs of repairs are adding up for everyone.”
The Energy Centre has also recorded three fires set in the washrooms, "as well as at other city locations," according to the information provided. "These arsons had the potential for extensive damage, if not the loss of the entire facility."
An elevator at the Energy Centre was also vandalized several month ago and remains out of order due to parts not being readily available.
"These acts of petty crime affect our whole community. The costs of repairs keep increasing, which ultimately falls back on the residents of Cold Lake to pay for through taxes," said the mayor.
While the City has increased security measures at some of its facilities, it can be hard to have eyes everywhere at all times. The City will look at further security enhancements during its ongoing deliberations to the 2024 Budget.
The public is encouraged to report any suspicious behaviour or acts of vandalism to the RCMP or Crimestoppers.
RCMP emergency: 911
RCMP non-emergency: 780-594-3302