Portion of Royal Melvin Park fence stolen

Annie Blanks | 315-4450 | @DestinLogAnnie |
A portion of the fence that was installed around Royal Melvin Park last week was apparently stolen over the weekend. ANNIE BLANKS/THE LOG

A portion of the fence that was constructed last week around the contentious Royal Melvin Park was stolen over the weekend, according to city officials.

Doug Rainer, public information manager for the city of Destin, confirmed that “a section of the fence that attaches to the gate was taken” at some point between when it was completed Friday and when it was discovered Monday.

“Our folks have met with the Sheriff’s Office to go over the damages,” Rainer said. He later added that the damages totaled just under $200 for repair to the fence, not including labor.

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Michele Nicholson said a criminal mischief complaint was filed with OCSO on Oct. 24. No investigation was launched, though she said people in the area were being “vigilant.”

The Destin City Council voted 3-2 in July to move forward with fencing off the park’s boundaries, even though it would block access to a north-south service road currently used by BI Inc., which is owned by Dewey Destin. The city constructed the fence last week.

Destin said he had very little knowledge of the fence incident when reached by phone Wednesday.

“I don’t know when that happened or who did it,” he said.

He added that the fence has made it difficult for his employees and restaurant customers to access the lower parking lot.

“We’re trying to make arrangements (for parking), but they’ve cut us off from that parking lot,” he said. “It’s the only publicly-owned access to the harbor and I think the city was very short-sighted in closing that off, especially since they don’t know when they’re going to start building that park.”

Rainer said the fence had been repaired as of Tuesday.