Closed Soldotna ski hill damaged by vandals

Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2002

The Karen Street Recreational Area in Soldotna received somewhere between $700 and $1,000 in damage -- the work of vandals -- in the past week.

Andrew Carmichael, the parks and recreation director, checked the hill, which had been closed due to unsafe conditions. He found that vandals had demolished it.

"We had at least 150 feet of fence along the hill," Carmichael said. "All the fence has been torn down. There were two signs with required state warnings on them. One of those signs has disappeared."

In addition to the fencing and the signs, vandals dragged away some of the bales of hay that lined the sides of the hill as barriers. Carmichael believes they wanted to get a longer run from the top of the hill. They tore out the fencing, in order to be able to slide down from a higher point. He also said that they broke into the park's shack, and apparently had quite a party, from the signs they left behind.

Carmichael does not know the exact date that unknown vandals broke into the shack nearby the ski hill because the hill was closed down soon after Christmas.

"The rains made conditions unsafe," Carmichael said. "I have two snowboarders who work for me. They tried the hill after the rains and one of them bruised his posterior. We decided to close the hill down, because of liability."

There are no suspects at this time. The police were not contacted, because when the damage was discovered, new snow had already fallen and obscured the signs that might have helped police determine who had committed the crime.



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