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Monday, April 28, 2008

City wins call on graffiti

By Brian McCready
Milford Bureau Chief
— Ask and you shall receive.
Days after two Democratic aldermen publicly raised concern about the state Department of Transportation’s seemingly slow reaction in removing graffiti from state property, state workers began hurriedly working to get rid of the eyesore.
Alderman Robert Nunno, D-5, and Aldermanic Chairman Ben Blake, D-5, last week both raised concern that the DOT had not removed graffiti from the state’s Old Gate Lane Railroad Bridge.
Nunno and Blake claimed the DOT may be in violation of the city’s new graffiti ordinance that mandates property owners remove graffiti from their properties or face possible fines. After Nunno and Blake shared their concerns Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. said he had previously asked the DOT to remove the graffiti on several occasions and if it were not removed then the city might perform the work and bill the state.
Late last week DOT workers power washed a portion of the graffiti from the railroad bridge, and by the end of the weekend the graffiti was expected to be removed.
“I’m really happy,” Nunno said of the graffiti being removed. “It’s a quality of life issue. I really hope that this gives this attention and will encourage other property owners to do the same.”
Blake said the DOT’s seemingly quick response was due to “an example of how mighty the power of the pen is,” a reference to media reports on concerns about graffiti on state property.
“The press is a force to be reckoned with,” Blake said. “It’s a positive result that local government is willing to do their part to ensure we clean up the graffiti.”
A DOT spokesman could not be reached for comment.
The Board of Aldermen approved the new ordinance that makes Milford among other communities statewide that allow municipal officials to enter private property and remove graffiti. Milford appears to be the municipality to fine property owners for failing to clean up graffiti, though several New Haven aldermen are pushing for adoption of such fines. The Milford ordinance requires a property owner to remove graffiti within 10 days of receiving a notice, and noncompliance is punishable by up to $90 per day.
The Milford ordinance also allows the Public Works Department to remove the graffiti if a property owner does not, then the city can bill the owner for the costs. If the bill were not paid, the city can place a lien on the property.
The city had been hit with a rash of graffiti last summer and police arrested 17 youths last year for vandalism.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations - now let's get the telephone pole out of the middle of new haven have - near old gate lane.

April 29, 2008 at 10:53 AM 

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