City reviewing graffiti ordinance

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) Terre Haute is on display for the state and the country. This weekend brings several major events to the city.

It’s one of the reasons the city council is considering an ordinance to clean up some unsightly art with a fresh coat of paint.

The melting snow and the bright sun, signal the spring thaw out has begun. Across the city another sign of warm weather returns that is clouding the cityscape: Graffiti.

“Some homeowners or property owners won’t let (people interested in cleaning it up) on their property to remove it,” Terre Haute Police Chief John Plasse said. “Studies have shown if you allow graffiti to linger it attracts more graffiti. It’s not good to allow it to remain there.”

This weekend’s upcoming state finals for girls basketball, the big bowling tournament and Rose Hulman’s regional robotics competition puts Terre Haute on the state and national radar.

“If we have a bad image, and we portray that,” Plasse said. “Then I think we are just kind of hindering ourselves in attracting good people to be here.”

That’s why Plasse has worked with the city council to put an end to that kind of art with an ordinance to force graffiti removal.

“Basically thirty days, weather dependent, to clean up their graffiti and if they are not able to themselves, can’t afford it or don’t have the means, allow the city to do that,” Plasse said.

The rule would apply to both private houses and businesses and would be carried out by code enforcement.

But, Plasse wants to stress it’s not about victimizing property owners. Rather, it’s about encouraging Terre Haute to live up to its motto: A Level Above.

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