New ordinance aims to get rid of graffiti

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A little canned vandalism becomes a lot of it. That’s why the Indianapolis City-County Council enacted an ordinance to get rid of graffiti.

“If they don’t clean it off, more’s going to come, because taggers will start hitting the neighborhood,” said Jeff Miller with the City-County Council.

Graffiti is in Jeff Miller’s south side council district. That’s why, last year, he introduced the clean-up plan that goes into effect April 1.

But, he said this is an unusual program.

“This is the only violation you’ll ever get from the city that also has an abatement program in place,” he said.

If this shows up on your property in Indianapolis, and it’s reported, you’ll have 30 days to clean it up. But Keep Indianapolis Beautiful wanted to make sure the graffiti targets aren’t victims, twice.

“Once by being tagged with graffiti, and second by being told by the city that they need to remove it or else they’ll be fined,” said Joe Jarzen with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful.

That’s why Keep Indianapolis Beautiful worked a deal with Lowe’s.

“We will be able to provide free paint–standard grade sidewalk paint–that they can use to cover over that graffiti right away,” Jarzen said.

Or, if they need a specific color, property owners can get it at a discount. Brushes and paint trays, too. It’s just to get rid of graffiti.

“The spirit of the neighborhood is impacted greatly by graffiti,” Jarzen said. “Quality of life issues. Just by seeing graffiti on a property might indicate a property that’s not cared-for.”

The new ordinance is best for abandoned properties, Miller said. Maybe the threat of fines will force them to get rid of property they no longer maintain.

“The more we can encourage folks and help them in getting stuff cleaned up, the better,” Miller said.

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