May 23, 2013 8:24 PM by Alyse Rzemek
The problem of graffiti is growing in the city of pueblo. In a year, more than 8,775 sites have been hit with graffiti, compared to 4,893 sites in 2011. That is a 80% increase in graffiti calls, cases and cleanup.
Bessemer 1,222 (66% increase over 2011)
Downtown 1,734 (136% increase)
West side 499 (17% increase)
South side 2,441 (83% increase)
North side 409 (14% increase)
East side 1,924 (76% increase)
Belmont 546 (169% increase)
A program up and running through the municipal court has offenders cleaning up and saving you money.
The Graffiti Removal program has on average 80 people cleaning up graffiti and trash weekly, all over the city. Community Services Supervisor, Tawni Nolting, says they "Graffiti Hotline" gets frequent calls, "Certain neighborhoods, there are quite a bit of graffiti.. Mostly alley ways.. You do see more on the East, South and West side.
Cities like Denver spend millions of dollars in taxpayer money to clean up sites hit with graffiti, but the city of Pueblo has a clean up program that costs taxpayers little to nothing. The program is supported by grant money, graffiti fines and donations.
Teens and adults trying to work off fines and even jail time save taxpayers an estimated $100,000 in labor costs. Grafitti Removal Program Director, Robert Cannon, explains that this program gives those in court system an opportunity they may not always get. "Thankful they have an option. In bigger cities they go to jail, still cost the taxpayers money.. Opportunity to work it off," Cannon said.
The city has a graffiti hotline where residents can call in any instances of graffiti and clean-up crews will come out in 24 to 48 hours. The number you can call is 719-553-2501. They say the biggest issue is getting people to call in and report it.