DENVER (KDVR) – Officials from the Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration (DPA) say Lincoln Park near the state Capitol will be closed until December so it can be repaired and restored after a homeless camp was removed last week.
“The staff discovered numerous safety and health hazards in the park. The safety of the public and our workers is of greatest importance,” said Kara Veitch, DPA’s executive director. “The park will remain closed while repairs are made and until the landscaping in the park can have a chance to recover.”
Initial cleaning cleared potentially hazardous trash, including human waste, used needles and syringes from the downtown park, according to the DPA. Evidence of a continued rat infestation, which closed the park in January, was also discovered.
DPA said damage includes extensive vandalism and damage to landscaping, irrigation, lighting and electrical fixtures, and the park’s numerous monuments.
The agency said it has already spent $70,000 on cleanup and graffiti removal. It spent another $16,069 to erect a fence around the park.
“DPA estimates an additional $137,825 will be needed to restore landscaping, irrigation, and security cameras. An estimate for repair of electrical and lighting fixtures is still not finalized,” the agency said in a statement.
The majority of cleanup efforts will be funded by the state’s Risk Management Property Fund. The DPA said insurance may cover a portion of the damage.