Graffiti mars a Saanich-owned wall at the corner of Tattersall and Quadra last year. Due to budget cutbacks

Graffiti removal in Saanich slashed in budget cutbacks

It's hard to tell whether the white spray-painted tag on a wall at the corner of Quadra and Tattersall begins with an M or a B.

It’s hard to tell whether the white spray-painted tag on a wall at the corner of Quadra and Tattersall begins with an M or a B. Or that might just be some random squiggly character.

Either way, you’re bound to notice it next time you pass the intersection, as Saanich public works crews likely won’t be cleaning it up any time soon.

As part of budget cutbacks in the municipality, there’s no money available to clean graffiti off municipally owned walls, fences, street furniture and overpasses.

“We still will deal with profanity, anything that’s obscene and so on, but basically the account for graffiti removal, those funds were cut,” said Mike Ippen, manager of public works.

For the fourth year in a row, Saanich council has asked each municipal department – except for public safety – to cut one per cent from their annual budget. This year $30,000 was scrapped that was annually allocated to roads crews to clean up graffiti.

“We can’t hold the line in a whole bunch of departments and not have an impact,” said Mayor Frank Leonard. “This was a choice that was made that would have the least amount of impact, so we’ll know more as the year progresses.”

The silver living, however, is just the public works side has been impacted so far. The Saanich parks department will still clean graffiti from parks, solid waste crews still have a budget to clean bus shelters, and hydro poles and mailboxes are still to be cleaned by their respective owners, B.C. Hydro and Canada Post.

“Obviously, any service cut is a bad one. It reduces a level of service that the community has come to expect,” Ippen said.

Saanich police Const. Jenn Symonds, the force’s designated graffiti officer, says this decision could prove problematic, as a vandalized area will encourage more graffiti.

“If you’re quick at removing it, it lets these people know that that’s not an area that will put up with the tagging. But if you let it sit, then it’s: ‘People here don’t care, we’ll make this our canvas,'” she said.

She also said that the municipality should be setting an example for Saanich residents, who are required to remove graffiti on their property.

“If the municipality’s not doing it, it makes an argument for property owners as to why they shouldn’t have to,” Symonds said.

Ippen says neighbours who are interested in removing graffiti that roads crews won’t can contact Saanich public works at 250-475-5599 for information on acquiring clean-up kits.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

Gate at Mount Douglas Park smashed on Wednesday night

It is suspected that a motorist drove through after being locked in after 11 p.m.

MISSING: Victoria police looking for ‘high-risk’ missing woman Clarissa Adamick

Adamick was last seen on July 12 and may be in the downtown Victoria area

Greater Victoria to see all 10 of the electric buses announced by federal-provincial governments

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $79 million in joint funding for 118 new buses across B.C.

Canadians may experience EpiPen shortage, says Health Canada

The EpiPen Jr is not affected by this shortage

New home in Saanich for adults with disabilities moves closer to fruition

Anonymous donor steps up with $1 million donation during fundraising campaign

Fashion Fridays: 5 casual summer dress styles

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Port Hardy RCMP cleared in arrest that left man with broken ribs, punctured lung: IIO

The IIO noted the matter will not be referred to crown counsel for consideration of charges.

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

Most Read