It’s taking some time, but the scars vandals left from the holiday snowman hunt are finally beginning to heal.
Gary Payne, Fred Smith and Brian Payne, of Payne Masonry in Barbourville spent Thursday replacing dozens of rocks on the rear wall of the Barbourville Public Library. The tiles had been systematically dug and pulled out from the wall by overzealous hunters during the annual snowman hunt.
“Payne gave us a really good deal on the masonry repair,” said Library Director Lana Messer Hale. “For what they charged us, I believe it was simply goodwill on their part. We also had to repair a downspout ripped off the building, and we still have a good-sized list of other smaller repairs we’ll get to as we can.
Several other areas around town, including courthouse flowerbeds and areas around the base of the tourism building, also took hits during the hunt, but they too have since been repaired.
“This wasn’t intentional vandalism,” said Barbourville Mayor David Thompson. “A few people simply got a little overexcited. The second hunt for the reindeer went as it was supposed to. People came out for the hunt knowing they would not have to work for it. It was never intended for anyone to have to climb a tree or demo a building to find a prize.”
“Cleanup is going pretty well,” said Hale. “Everything takes time, and we’re still finding people who can work on the library.”