Costly, draining graffiti battle straining Hartford city resources


It’s a constant battle between Vandals and the Department of Transportation. Graffiti is becoming a bigger problem across Connecticut, costing taxpayers more money and tough financial times for the state. 

Kevin Nursick at the DOT says it’s not a victimless crime. Not only does it cost taxpayers money to paint over it, but it is a very dangerous job.

“I would hate to see the day that one of our staff members is injured cleaning up after someone who is abusing taxpayer property. One could say it’s kind of victimless, but it’s not.”

If caught, the Vandals receive fines and minor sentences, rarely serve jail time, yet they do about a half a million dollars worth of damage every year.

“I usually see it on bridges up on the top, and me and my dad often wonder how the hell did they get up there?” Cody Meyer, Wethersfield.

Graffiti is not art according to the Department of Transportation. To them, it is a constant, dangerous nuisance, and a waste of time. They could be out repairing potholes or fixing bridges, but they have to paint over the graffiti as well.

“As quickly as we go out and remove the graffiti which takes time resources and money. It will then come back again sometimes the very same day that we remove it,” Nursick.

Between the spray painting and litter, it cost the state about $1 million a year to try and keep the highways clean which can be a losing battle because it is a lower priority than road safety.

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