FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - In a summer marked by the strongest heat wave in decades, it's the work of thieves that's left a lot of folks feeling hot.
A staple in one community was forced to shut down because of stolen air conditioning.
Stacy Burchett has been getting ready for her son's first birthday party.
"He'll be 1 year old, and I want everything to go as planned," she said.
However, thanks to thieves, those plans had to change.
"It's really messed a lot of things up," Burchett said.
Floyd County Judge Executive “Doc” Marshall says thieves stole 8 thousand dollars worth of heating and air conditioning units from the community center at Stumbo Park in the town of Allen, including a heat pump that weighed five tons.
The community center, which is booked most weekends in the summer for weddings, birthday parties and reunions, is now closed indefinitely.
“It's really disrespectful," Burchett said. "I have to redo all my invitations for my son's birthday party, find another location, and a lot of places have already been reserved. It's really stressful.”
The county recently upgraded the park with a new playground and clubhouse.
Marshall says the theft, which occurred in late June, is just the latest in a series of problems there, including vandalism and drug use at night.
Linda Wells is a volunteer at the park. She says it’s pitiful some people ruin the place for others.
"It's discouraging,” she said. “It's really sad. A lot of people depend on this and take pride in their community."
Marshall says because of the county's tight financial picture they can't afford to replace the air conditioning units right away.
He says the 8-thousand dollar unit that was stolen only contained about 300 dollars worth of copper, which is what the thieves were likely after.
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