Property owners who do not voluntarily remove graffiti or permit the city to do so are committing a misdemeanor, the City Council decided Monday night.
Without discussion, the council unanimously passed an ordinance that makes property owners who fail to remove graffiti subject to a fine of up to $1,000 and a jail term of up to six months.
In the past, some property owners who did not remove graffiti also refused to allow city staff to remove or paint over the graffiti. The ordinance, which declares the presence of graffiti a public nuisance, does not mandate that the city eliminate graffiti on private property, but it authorizes the city's chief administrative officer to use city funds for the cleanup.
The city anticipates spending $200,000 this fiscal year to clean up graffiti, according to Dale Jones, chief administrative officer.