8 Mar 2019

Vandalism of Timaru lift causes up to $60,000 damage

3:07 pm on 8 March 2019

Vandals have landed the Timaru community with bill of up to $60,000 and have taken an important link to Caroline Bay out of service for up to six months.

The vandals broke into the Piazza lift plant room and caused severe damage to electrical circuit board panel and the hydraulic electrical system.

The door mechanism at the base of the lift were also severely damaged.

The damaged piazza control board.

The damaged piazza control board. Photo: Supplied / Timaru District Council

Mayor Damon Odey said the council was working with police to identify the culprits, and would welcome any leads that the community could provide.

"This kind of intentional, abhorrent behaviour is absolutely unacceptable. At the end of the day it is taking something from everyone in the community and landing them with a large bill in the process.

"The lift is an important way for people with mobility issues and people with small children in prams to access Caroline Bay from the City Centre and it's particularly galling that some people think it's okay to take this away for a bit of fun.

"If this wasn't enough, pouring diesel into the fountain shows a complete disregard for the special environment of the Bay. If any diesel had escaped the fountain it would have gone straight into the stormwater system and from there into the bay.

"We'll be working with the police to find out who was behind this, and we'd call on the community to share any information they may have."

An initial inspection of the lift by the manufacturing company has shown that if they can't obtain the parts for the electrical circuit board due to its age and software running on it, that they will have to obtain these parts from Europe.

This could take up to 22 weeks to obtain the parts then three weeks to assemble and install and test the circuit board and software.

If the circuit board has to be replaced then we are looking at a cost of up to $60,000.

"Caroline Bay is the heart of the city, and it's heartbreaking that this has happened a time of year when everyone should be able to enjoy it, particularly with major events such as the Rock and Hop coming up," said Damon.

"We'll be doing everything we can to help the police find who did this, anyone with any information should contact the police in Timaru.

"We need the community to put out a strong message that this is unacceptable."