ROCHESTER, Minn. - After a Rochester park suffered damage, the city is working to clear a homeless encampment to prevent further vandalism.
The Rochester Parks and Recreation Department says there is damage to Mayo Park's picnic shelter and on the Mayo Brother's memorial.
Director Paul Widman says around 30 people made an encampment at Mayo Park.
While the department wants to be compassionate and understanding to those without a home, as well as those significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Widman says the latest vandalism can't be tolerated.
Widman explained, "We will take action when it becomes a problem and it's reached that point at Mayo. We just want people to know that we are doing our best to work through this with the dignity of the people that are homeless but also protect the city's resources."
As of Friday afternoon, Widman says the park was voluntarily cleared.
The department adds its preference is that anyone seeking overnight shelter find their way to adequate housing.