• 72°

Vandals damage Route 75 overlook

Ironton Lions Club members are cleaning and fixing the overlook atop Route 75 tunnel after vandals struck the area.

Within the last few weeks, vandals kicked out the spindles to the steps and wooden platform and damaged some of the steps leading up to it. This comes after a series of other incidents that mangled or removed parts of the overlook.

“The bench is torn up, they stole the aluminum off the flag pole. The telescope is broken. They even stole the metal off the light fixtures,” said outgoing Lions Club President Jan Wisenberger.

She said recently, someone stole

the cast iron gate from the front of the tunnel but later returned it.

Though club members have agreed to pay to have repairs made, Wisenberger said the latest incidents have left members disheartened that their good work and the good work of others within the community has been met with criminal activity.

It’s getting to the point now when we have to ask ourselves how much money we want to put into it?” she

said.

Fellow Lions Club member Bob Blankenship pointed out that while the club is shelling out money to fix what others tore up, the real loser in the vandalism is the community.

“There are people who use this area on a regular basis and enjoy using it and it’s sad someone else has torn up what other people enjoy using,” he said. “It’s ridiculous what has gone on.”

The overlook, which is easily seen from U.S. 52 and State Route 93 yet is still in an isolated area, has seen its share of both friend and foe over the years. Donations paid for the overlook in the first place back in the 1990s. The Lions Club purchased the material and Collins Career center students constructed it.

Vandals have stuck it several times since then. Still others in the community have stepped forward repeatedly to clean up someone else’s messes.

In September 2006, Collins Career Center students volunteered their time again,

fixing the platform and stairs after vandals tore out some of the wood and even put it in a pile and burned it.