116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
VINTON — It will cost over $200,000 to rebuild a Vinton park that was burned down this past weekend in an apparent arson, according to a video posted to Facebook by the director of the Vinton Parks and Recreation Department.
Director Matt Boggess said in the video that because of supply chain shortages the city won’t be able to get any new playground equipment for Riverside Park until December at the earliest. The Parks and Recreation Department is hoping to install the new equipment in spring of next year, Boggess said, and it is also looking at modifying the park and adding new types of equipment.
In the meantime, the city is working to clear the area so residents still can use the few playground pieces that were unharmed in the fire.
The city also opened it is splash pad two weeks earlier than intended, to give families somewhere to play while the playground is out of commission.
The fire happened early Saturday morning, according to a news release from the Vinton Police Department. Vinton police and firefighters responded just before 3 a.m. and found the main playground equipment engulfed in fire as well as a Vinton Parks and Recreation vehicle. There also was a trampoline on fire in the area.
The playground equipment, vehicle and trampoline were all a total loss, the release states.
Two juvenile suspects were identified by police as part of the investigation and charges are pending. Chief Ted Paxton said Wednesday the police department still is gathering information as the investigation continues and police hope to have official charges filed before the end of the week.
The Vinton Volunteer Fire Department called the vandalism an arson in a Facebook post Saturday and encouraged residents who may know anything about the incident to talk to law enforcement.
“Nothing angers firefighters more than arson, but this arson will result in the children of Vinton waking up to a beautiful Saturday to play outside only to have their parents tell them of this damage. Sadly the children of Vinton will learn what a cruel world we live in on this day,” the Facebook post reads.
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