Asheville graffiti initiative makes headway

Graffiti wall River JWelch

Asheville’s new initiative to clean up graffiti seems to be making headway.

Starting July 1, the city began offering property owners up to $500 in assistance toward the cost of removing the illicit markings from their buildings. And as of today, July 16, 67 property owners have requested support and 9 locations have been cleaned up, according to Brian Postelle, the city’s public information specialist.

“The clean up is expected to ramp up toward the beginning of next week now that many of those who have signed up have completed the necessary waivers allowing contractors to access their property,” says Postelle.

The temporary city assistance, which is funded in part by a $30,000 gift from an anonymous donor, ends Sept. 30. To request the funding, property owners can call 259-5960, email 123graffitifree@ashevillenc.gov or use the Asheville App, available for free download here.

In addition to the 90 day initiative, the city recently approved higher civil penalties for the crime – levying fines of up to $1,000 on those convicted of the crime. The move came in response to mounting pressure from the local business community for the city to do more to prevent it.

Meanwhile, the North Carolina General Assembly recently approved stiffer penalties for graffiti vandalism pending the governor’s signature. “Hopefully it will act as even more of a deterrence to vandalism,” says Postelle. “It does add another tool for law enforcement when dealing with graffiti.”

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About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

One thought on “Asheville graffiti initiative makes headway

  1. trollolol828

    disgusting. an ‘anonymous donor’ is paying for graffiti removal? since when do anonymous money-havers get to set city policy? do people honestly think ‘less graffiti’ will be good for this community in any way? are the kinds of visitors to this place who would be turned off by graffiti honestly the kinds of people we should be giving any level of attention to? or do we just blindly follow the dollar, no matter who’s spending it? oh, right. anyway, i will enjoy watching our tourism industry wither and die, with or without graffiti. trollolololllllllllllllll

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