Seven iron planters with new self-watering inserts were knocked over and damaged over the weekend, according to the Rome Main Streets Alliance.
The Alliance estimated that the vandalism resulted in over $7,000 in damages. “The police are checking out pole cameras in the vicinity to see if they can figure out who has done this but it’s a major blow to the city’s beautification efforts,” said the group’s executive director, Michael Brown.
“Wanton destruction by some of Rome’s finest at the James Street Garage,” the group posted on Facebook.”This is a felony destruction of public property and if you know anything about it we ask that you reach out to the police department.”
“This is really disappointing,” said Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo. “This is two years in a row. We spend a pretty decent amount of money on plants and flowers. Of course we’re going to replace them. But the bigger issue is that in a few of the planters we had the self-watering liners, which were taken. It’s disheartening because there’s so much volunteer time by the Alliance and city workers’ time.” She added, “We’re all trying to enhance the community and make it look better and we have to put up with this type of vandalism.”
Councilor Cam T. Tien, D-1, took to Facebook in reaction: “This vandalism is absolutely unacceptable and I hope whomever is the perpetrator is convicted and punished to the fullest extent of the law. People have invested large amount of time in these planters. This is ridiculous. If anyone has information that can bring the vandals to justice, please contact myself or the Rome Police Department.”
The planters are city-owned.