THE TRUE COST IS MUCH LARGER THAN THOUGHT !
According to the Seattle Public Utilities graffiti vandalism cost the city of Seattle $ 1 million dollars last year alone. The battle to keep Seattle vandalism free is one that never ends. In many locations throughout the city, almost as soon as graffiti is removed, new graffiti takes its place.Although not a huge factor in the Public Utilities District annual budget the costs of combating graffiti begin truly showing themselves once the its realized that the costs and the service is dispersed through multiple agencies.
Seattle Public Utilities spent about $1 million last year for graffiti enforcement, removal, education and outreach, while King County Metro Transit spent $734,000 last year to rid buses, tunnels, park and rides and bus shelters of graffiti.
The cost of the damage is a drain on taxpayers. But there is a lot more going on with graffiti that most of us don’t have any idea about? Graffiti in many instances are done by taggers pledging allegiance to a “crew” or group of people. These crews are farming grounds for gangs and the markings these crews leave are what gain them their notoriety and fame in the underworld.
Stopping graffiti from becoming a walk of stars is as valuable as keeping the city blight free. The amount of hassle graffiti removal provides is not without the benefits of deliberately letting criminals know that they are not welcome in our communities.
SEATTLE’S GRAFFITI NUISANCE ORDINANCE
In 1996 the city of Seattle adopted the graffiti nuisance ordinance. The ordinance is managed by the director of Seattle Engineering Department Solid Waste Utility whom sends out a letter letting the property owner know that their property has become a graffiti nuisance property.
The ordinance states that a building owner has 10 days to comply with an order for graffiti removal or face penalties of $100 per day. This ordinance was adopted by Seattle after seeing the success of cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix and Portland and San Francisco in combating graffiti through similar programs.
Although this ordinance may seem harsh to a business owner, it’s been well proven that timely removing graffiti, prevents graffiti vandalism from happening. A building that doesn’t remove graffiti quickly becomes a magnet for vandals to not only continue defacing that property, but the surrounding properties as well.
CONTRACT PRICING FOR GRAFFITI REMOVAL
Graffiti removal is based on two factors, the first being the material it was applied to and the second being the size of the tag. Materials such as brick, metal and concrete all have very different methods involved in removing graffiti. Time and materials is normally how these graffiti tags are estimated for removal.
Typically the cost for graffiti removal is based on a 4 hour least for most companies. The cost can quickly add up when the graffiti is done on historic brick or landmarks that must be given great care in preserving during the process. In these situations a chemical agent is applied over and over till the markings of graffiti are removed. Effective graffiti removal products are not cheap and repeated applications drive the price up.