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New graffiti ordinance in Indianapolis means clean up or pay up

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indianapolis is encouraging property owners to clean up graffiti or pay a fine. Beginning April 1, the Code Enforcement Department can issue a $50 citation for graffiti.

The burden falls on the property owner, but the emphasis is on cleaning up the graffiti instead of paying the fine. City-County Councilor Jeff Miller said the ordinance is unique because it offers an abatement program.

“We did that intentionally because we want to encourage folks to address this, we want to push people to action and to try to help them,” said Miller.

There is help available for anyone who has graffiti on their property. The city is working with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful to provide paint and supplies. The nonprofit beautification organization is handing out free paint, rollers, brushes and paint trays. The supplies were provided through Lowe’s and Valspar. Lowe’s will also offer a 10 percent discount on tinted paint.

“What it’s doing is helping to build community, it’s empowering residents to take ownership of their neighborhood of their own property and to help build a better quality of life,” said Joseph Jarzen, with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful.

Individual property owners and neighborhood groups are eligible for the free supplies. Anyone interested in receiving free paint can go to the Keep Indianapolis Beautiful website for information about the Graffiti Free Indy program.

Property owners have 30 days to clean up the graffiti. If they fail to pay the fine, a $5 late fee will be assessed and the citation will be go to collections. You can report graffiti-ridden properties by calling the Mayor’s Action Line at (317) 327-4622.