A man and woman have been arrested in connection with a September 2020 incident that caused the new fountain on the Highland County Courthouse Square in Hillsboro to be shut down.
The Hillsboro Police Department said that on Wednesday a police officer obtained information about the Sept. 26, 2020 incident when two subjects allegedly poured dish soap in the fountain causing it to overflow with bubbles.
The incident required city maintenance crews to clean and drain the fountain the following day.
After further investigation into the information the officer received, Mckayla A. Jordan, 21, Lynchburg, and Tristan M. Nicely, 23, Hillsboro, both admitted to pouring dish soap into the fountain on that September night, the police department said.
Both Jordan and Nicely were charged with criminal mischief.
The fountain was originally opened in June and was vandalized multiple times, costing the city money to clean and repair it, Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Brianna Abbott said last September.
It was reported at the time of the September incident that two one-gallon bags of what the city assumed was dish soap were dumped into the fountain. Eyewitnesses told The Times-Gazette that the soap suds quickly flowed out of the fountain and into the street, and police officers arrived on the scene to direct traffic.
Abbott said last year that the fountain had been subjected to other forms of damage including from bicycles “grinding” on the fountain’s sitting walls, which removed “chunks” of concrete, and damage from trash items thrown inside the fountain.
“What some would say is a harmless prank forces the city to utilize taxpayer dollars to repair the damage,” Abbott said at the time. “When the fountain is ‘soaped’ the city is forced to drain the 4,000 gallons of water, flush the system, replace filters, add necessary chemicals and refill. This process takes several hours and also takes city employees away from their typical daily tasks.”
The Bagshaw family donated the fountain, which cost more than $100,000 to construct, to the city.
In August 2018, the Highland County Board of Commissioners approved a contract between the county and the city regarding the fountain.
Crews began construction in October of 2019, and the city announced that the fountain was in working order in early June of last year.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.