Residents are warned that towing enforcement will be coming into effect at Anicinabe Park as of July 29 to help curb a recent string of vandalism.

For years now, the Anicinabe Park gate has been locked at 10:30 p.m. and reopened at 6:30 a.m. with two padlocks – one for the manager and one for emergency responders and paramedics who need to get in the park in case of an emergency.

But recently, staff have installed a new mechanical lock at a cost of $10,000 from park funds, which locks automatically at 10:30 p.m. and will automatically open at 6:30 p.m. to make life easier on staff members, with a keypad and password for emergencies.

Unfortunately, as Anicinabe Park Manager Susan Evenden explains, this new system has been forced open and damaged on at least three separate occasions this month, requiring extensive repairs.

Evenden notes the gate is under 24-hour surveillance, and damaging the gate can be considered a Mischief violation under the Criminal Code of Canada.

In order to help prevent the vandalism, Anicinabe Park and the City of Kenora will be enforcing new ‘No Overnight Parking’ signs and regulations, and any vehicles and boat trailers that remain in the park after 10:30 p.m. that are not registered guests of the park will be towed at the owners’ expense.

“We are deeply disappointed that the disrespect for property of some has led to this,” said Evenden.

Four signs have been posted at the boat launch and beach area. The park reminds residents that the City of Kenora has free overnight parking available on Mikana Way and a free 24-hour boat launch is available at the Kenora Recreation Centre.

Without a locked gate, Evenden says park residents regularly deal with excessive noise and property damage, which has stopped with the use of the gate. She adds that residents are reminded to drive slowly through the Anicinabe Park area.