Parks Department Told To Paint Over Pier Graffiti

Staff at the Berrien County Parks Department are working to eliminate profane graffiti painted on the south pier in St. Joseph this past weekend. During a Thursday meeting of the Berrien County Board of Commissioners, Berrien County Parks Director Brian Bailey said although the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns the pier, it’s been recommended the county remove the graffiti so it can be taken care of quickly. Parks staff were able to wash away graffiti also sprayed in one area of Silver Beach County Park, but dealing with the pier is a bit different.

“We were able to, because it was such a small area of the county park, use some chemical means, but since the pier is surrounded by Lake Michigan with the water, it’s a delicate situation environmentally,” Bailey said.

Therefore, Bailey said it’s been recommended the parks department paint over the offensive graffiti. He wondered if the county board was OK with him spending a couple hundred dollars to make that happen. Commissioner Dave Volrath was in favor.

“I think we need to get it taken care of right away because we’ve got people coming in still on the weekends, and it’s a very bad example of our area when people are coming from out of town to visit one of the nicest beaches in the country and see that kind of stuff.”

Bailey said the parks department would get to work on it right away. Meanwhile, Chair Mac Elliott said surveillance cameras should enable the arrest of the vandals, but Bailey says the camera at the pier wasn’t working that night, which would have been September 11.