GRAYSON – Contractors working on the Carter County Sports Park Complex in Grayson had two pieces of heavy equipment vandalized in recent weeks.
Sport Park Project Manager John Brammer said a roller and a bulldozer belonging to Allard Excavation both were found with sugar in their gas tanks.
The first incident occurred two weeks ago when workers experienced an issue with a roller and found that sugar had been placed in its gas tank. Brammer said on Thursday that a roller broke down on the crews at that time. When they took it back to their shop to diagnose and repair the problem they found the diesel engine was full of sugar.
Then on or around Tuesday, August 20, they experienced an issue with a bulldozer and found that it too had sugar placed in its gas tank.
Brammer said he couldn't venture "even a guess on the cost to rebuild them," noting that it probably wouldn't be cheap to repair or replace the large diesel engines.
In addition to the repair costs, he said, Allard will also lose money on the cost to rent equipment in order to continue work on the park.
While that decision will cost Allard money, it shouldn't cost the city or park board any extra money. He said it should also help keep the project on schedule.
"It shouldn't impact the time more than a day or two," Brammer said.
Brammer said he didn't know if Allard's insurance would cover the damage to the equipment, but that any insurance the company kept on the equipment wasn't the same as the insurance the park board required the contractors to keep. The policies the park board's contract requires contractors to keep are to cover employee claims such as worker's compensation, he explained.
He said they are currently in the process of installing surveillance equipment to deter any further vandalism of the equipment or park grounds.
Park board chair Mindy Woods-Click confirmed that the board had contacted the Grayson Police Department and asked them to pay special attention to the park area during their evening rounds.
It's unclear whether an attempted break-in at the Grayson Tourism Cabin – where the tourism commission and park board meet – is related to the vandalism of the contractor equipment.
Maggie Duncan, with the tourism commission, confirmed that someone "tried to break in through the back door of the cabin." Police reports were filed on both the attempted break-in and the vandalism, she said.
Grayson Police Chief Kevin McDavid was unavailable for comment at press time.
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