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Broken glass closes pool

Elm Ave. Park pool broken into overnight

— The Bethlehem town pool at Elm Avenue Park was vandalized on the night of Tuesday, July 10, according to Bethlehem Parks and Recreation officials.

Piera Canuto, the town’s aquatic director, said a towel was found over the fence near the diving tank where it is believed the vandal or vandals entered, and glass from what appeared to be a broken bottle was found along the outside of the pool. The diving tank was closed on Wednesday as a precaution and the pool was drained, cleaned and refilled.

Diving classes for the day were also cancelled.

“We expect whoever it was was intoxicated because of the broken glass,” said Canuto.

Police were notified of the incident. Lt. Tom Heffernan of the Bethlehem Police Department said there are no suspects, but added it is not unusual for people to attempt to break into the pool on hot summer nights. The town has a park patrol for a portion of the night, than police patrol the area as part of their regular watch.

“We do have kids that jump the fence yearly, but in this case it caused damage and was an inconvenience to park staff and residents,” Heffernan said, adding safety is a concern. “If it’s teens, we don’t want them in the pool with no one there or getting hurt jumping the fence. It could turn into a lot worse situation than kids jumping a fence because they are hot.”

Supervisor John Clarkson said the town had looked into installing more security for the pool in the past, but the costs were prohibitive. The town is now looking into other low-cost solutions.

Canuto said if the culprits were caught, the town would most likely press charges to try to recoup some of the money spent draining the pool. Parks and Recreation Department officials said they are currently calculating how much the incident cost the town in overtime and the cost of the water itself.

“We’re keeping an eye out to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Canuto said.

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