Soapy vandalism

Published 4:14 am Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Danny Howard was awakened by an early-morning phone call phone call from the Brewton Police Department Sunday. Officers were wondering if the Brewton Public Works Department was doing a bit of spring cleaning-with bubbles.
According to Howard, department head for the Department of Public Works, and Ray Madden, superintendent of utilities, vandals allegedly poured some type of soap or detergent into the fountain located on the corner of Mildred and St. Joseph Streets.
Howard said that when he arrived at the fountain the soapsuds had flowed back to the fountain, but at some point, he added, the suds had flowed across the street.
Howard doesn't want a repeat of the vandalism because it took nearly three hours and a crew of three men to clean out the fountain and clean up the street.
Despite the messy road conditions, the city didn't close the road. Rather, they sprayed the street down, which eventually dissipated the suds.
Cleaning out the fountain was a much larger ordeal. City workers had to turn the fountain power off, dip it over and pour the water out of the top and back flush the system several times, Howard said. In the meantime, big clouds of bubbles floated from the fountain and traveled over to the highway.
The fountain has not been formally unveiled, but the water has been flowing for less than a month. A dedication ceremony is set for a later date, and in the meantime city officials are hoping to catch anyone who decides to pull another prank.
If violators are caught, the vandalism is considered a misdemeanor, Brewton Police Chief David Lovelace said. The cost of the fine could vary, Lovelace added. Lovelace said the police department will try to hinder future vandalism.

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