Columbus City Council Proceeds with Graffiti Removal Program

Columbus City Council Proceeds with Graffiti Removal Program

(Columbus)–The City of Columbus is another step closer to a graffiti removal program that will help residents and small businesses recover from graffiti crimes with City assistance. City Councilmember Zach M. Klein, chair of the Development Committee, is sponsoring ordinance 1382-2012 which will authorize the Director of the Department of Development to enter into a $100,000 contract with Graffiti Protective Coatings, Inc. to provide graffiti abatement services in Columbus. The legislation is scheduled to appear on the July 9 agenda.

Councilmember Klein, along with Safety Committee Chair Michelle M. Mills, proposed a Graffiti Abatement Assistance Program as part of a strategy to improve the safety and economic climate in Columbus neighborhoods. Councilmembers passed the ordinance to create the program in April 2012.

“This assistance program ensures that our residents and small business owners are not the victims of a crime twice,” said Councilmember Klein. “First, when they discover the vandalism and second when they have to pay for its removal. And for many victims, whether they are financial or physically unable to clean the graffiti, there is no doubt that they will benefit from the program.”

City requires the removal of graffiti from occupied and vacant structures. The ordinance gives property owners 30 days to abate the graffiti. Property owners can grant the City permission to remove graffiti on occupied structures at the City’s expense. If a property owner chooses not to remove the graffiti themselves or with the City’s help, the City can obtain an order from the environmental court to remove the nuisance and charge the property owner for the cost of the removal.

Councilmembers approved a $500,000 2012 General Fund Budget amendment to support the program. The contract with Graffiti Protective Coatings is for $100,000. Additional dollars for the program will be appropriated as later contracts are bid.

“This program sends a strong message that our residents and business owners are not fighting graffiti on their own, City Council is here to help,” said Councilmember Mills. “This legislation shows our City Council’s proactive approach to investing in neighborhoods to make them safer places to live, work and raise a family.”

For more information on the program to go columbuscitycouncil.org and click on Columbus Graffiti Removal Program or call 311.

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