Retailers Help Indy Beat Back Graffiti
The City of Indianapolis is using both carrot and stick to crack down on graffiti—requiring owners to clean up tagged homes and properties, but giving them the means to do so.
With materials and support from paint and coatings maker Valspar Corp. and home-improvement giant Lowe's, Graffiti Free Indy is a new initiative by Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Inc. (KIB) that provides resources for residents "to take graffiti removal into their own hands."
Graffiti Free Indy allows individuals and community-based and volunteer groups to plan and execute their own clean-up projects with supplies and paint provided by Valspar and Lowe's, through KIB. Kits and vouchers for the program may be obtained from KIB through an online application.
The new program, which began Monday (Oct. 7) follows a new city ordinance that requires the removal of graffiti from public and private property.
The ordinance, which took effect July 1, calls graffiti "a visual symbol of disorder and lawlessness" that "conributes to a downward spiral of blight and decay, decreasing property values, lessening business viability and adversely affectting tax revenues."
"When graffiti is not promptly removed or covered, other properties tend to become the target of graffiti, and entire neighborhoods are affected and beome less desirable places to be, all to the detriment of the city," the ordinance says.
Graffiiti is defined as "any unauthorized inscription, word, figure, design, painting, writing, drawing or carving that is written, marked, etched, scratched, sprayed, drawn, painted, or engraved on or otherwise affixed on a component of any building, structure, or other facility by any graffiti implement...."
Graffiti Free Indy is a new initiative by Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Inc.
Under the ordinance, the city's Department of Code Enforcement will investigate complaints about graffiti. After a visual inspection to verify the claim, the department will issue a notice of violation to the property owner and manager. The owner then has 30 days to remove or cover the graffiti or face a fine.
There are also provisions for owners to report graffiti on neighboring properties, whether owned or abandoned.
Free Cleanup Kits
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful is providing property owners with a Lowe's graffiti abatement kit that includes a gallon of standard gray or white paint, one paint roller and one paint brush. The kit also includes a discount for tinted paint.
For neighborhoods blighted by graffiti, KIB will help connect residents with its Adopt-a-Block program or with corporate or volunteer groups that help abate graffiti.
The service and supplies through KIB are free, though donations are encouraged to keep the program going.