The Jurupa Valley City Council, which has allocated tens of thousands of dollars to rid the city of graffiti, is proposing a task force of local agencies and residents to collaborate on eradication efforts and to develop strategies to keep young people from turning to vandalism as a way to relieve boredom.
"We can't just look at painting over graffiti," said Councilwoman Laura Roughton. "We have to look at the reasons for it."
"It has to be a multifaceted approach," she said.
The council is scheduled to discuss forming the graffiti task force on Thursday, Feb. 21.
Roughton said a task force would hopefully include the Jurupa Area Recreation
District, the Jurupa Unified School District, the Rubidoux and Jurupa community services districts, Riverside County Flood Control and Union Pacific Railroad.
"Graffiti and graffiti removal is a community issue," said Mayor Verne Lauritzen. "We need to have some discussion of how all the agencies can come together and combat the proliferation."
In October, the Jurupa Valley council voted to pay Riverside County's Economic Development Agency $20,000 in gas tax money for graffiti abatement. In December, council members voted to allocate $80,000 from the city's general fund reserves to pay for graffiti eradication on private property, such as walls, fences and shopping centers.
Earlier this month, council members voted to pay $100,000 to the Jurupa Community Services District for graffiti abatement in the public right-of-way and on private property.
Councilman Brad Hancock said he has not made up his mind that a task force would provide a solution.
"I will always listen to what folks have to say," Hancock said. "If it's something great, then let's move forward."
"(But) I put a lot of stock in what (law enforcement) tells me: the best way to eradicate graffiti is to erase it in 24 hours and catch the individuals," Hancock said.
Graffiti abatement costs agencies in Jurupa Valley thousands of dollars every year.
The Jurupa Unified School District estimates it will spend just over $20,000 on abatement this year.
Dan Rodriguez, general manager of the Jurupa Area Recreation
District, said recently that it will cost $10,000 to $12,000 this fiscal year to rid parks
facilities of graffiti.
Follow Sandra Stokley on Twitter: @SandraStokley or online at blog.pe.com/jurupa-valley