City officials: Thieves hurt community

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2006

Two trailers that supply temporary electricity to nearly every community event in the city have been stripped of their wiring, and now the city is hoping to raise enough money to repair them.

The trailers near the city’s water plant, each called a “dog house” for their unique appearance were vandalized sometime over the past few weeks.

Steve Sido, electrician with the city, said it appears that thieves jumped the locked gates of the plant and cut the main copper wires leading to the meter base of each trailer. The reason was not simply to give the city headaches, he said.

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“The price of copper is so high that people are doing this kind of stuff,” Sido said.

Stealing copper has become nearly an epidemic, according to police. Everything from live telephone wires to air conditioners is being stolen to strip. Copper can bring anywhere from $2.50 to $7.50 a pound.

Two spools of about 400 feet of copper wire were stolen from the water plant last month. Sido said he believes the vandalism of the trailers took place at the same time.

“I was so upset that the spools were gone that I didn’t even notice (the damage to the trailers),” he explained.

Sido said the most recent incident is a blow to the community. He said the trailers supply power to many community events, including Ohio University Southern’s Festival of the Hills, the Ironton Catholic Community’s Charity Fair and the Gus Macker Tournament. They are supposed to be used at the upcoming Rally on the River, Aug. 17-20.

“This is a community-owned piece of equipment. It’s a portable electric supply that is used for so many civic and community events,” said Mayor John Elam. “It’s just a real shame.”

The city is currently looking for donations to help repair each trailer. The price tag should be about $3,800, according to Elam. Donations can be sent to the mayor’s office earmarked for “The Dog House Fund.”