Swifter grafitti removal pledged
Code Enforcement directing pilot program led by its own employee
City Code Enforcement Administrator Ken Lewis pledges greatly improved removal of grafitti in the coming year.
Rather than rely on a contract with a private company, as in the past, the city is trying a different strategy this year. In response to a Lewis efficiency/cost savings proposal during the '08 budget-planning process, City Council approved a pilot program in which Code Enforcement directs grafitti removal through an employee whose whole job is to lead full- and part-time crews consisting of people working off community service sentences, Lewis explained in a recent interview.
Although emphasizing that he did not mean to criticize the private company (Workout Ltd.), which he said worked hard but had trouble keeping up with the volume, Lewis predicted that “we will actually increase removal from 90 to over 300 times a year, so everyone should be noticing a difference in that.”
He added that “the best practice is to remove grafitti in 24 to 48 hours. We haven't been doing it in 24 to 48 days in some cases.”
Another improvement that should be appreciated, he said, is the type of paint that will be used - a mix developed by El Paso County that will “make it look like it's not painted-over grafitti,” Lewis said.
A branch of Colorado Springs Police, Code Enforcement is also working with patrol officers in an effort to keep tabs on grafitti problem areas, he noted.
In related news, Lewis gave an update on a grafitti attack on the Westside in late '07, which particularly hit the area between 30th and 33rd streets. He reported that police have arrested “two different groups” in those incidents - including some who “were caught redhanded.”
Westside Pioneer article