The railing for the wheelchair-accessible ramp at the Methow Valley Community Center was damaged over Memorial Day weekend, most likely on Saturday night. Repairs have already been made since people need the ramp every day, community center Executive Director Kirsten Ostlie said.
Ostlie doesn’t know how the damage occurred, but surmised that it was caused by people joyriding or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, since no one apologized or left a note saying they’d had an accident.
Teodoro Dominguez and a crew spent two days repairing the ramp, which was usable again by midweek, Ostlie said. She doesn’t know the cost of the repairs yet.
The community center has been plagued by a rash of break-ins, petty theft and vandalism in recent years. Someone took food and utensils from the kitchen and damaged the kitchen door. People have stuffed paper into the toilets. Years ago, someone stole large planters full of flowers.
Now Ostlie leaves nothing outside — not even hoses or sprinkler heads. “We run a tight ship now,” she said.
Nevertheless, Ostlie said that most locals have a lot of respect for the community center because they use it regularly. People take dance, music and tae kwon do classes, stop by the library, and attend events in the gym.
The Methow Valley Senior Center, which shares the building, has also dealt with theft and vandalism for years. People stole donations at night and even dumped trash contaminated with vermin for the seniors to dispose of, according to a board member. The problems have decreased since the senior center started locking the donation bins and dumpsters.
A sign for the Twisp River Suites at the corner of Highway 20 and Twisp Avenue was also damaged on the same night, according to owner Joe Marver. The damage was minor and has already been repaired.