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City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Rockaway Beach) unveiled a graffiti removal program Friday in Ozone Park where residents can call a hotline to report graffiti and have the vandalism cleaned up for free.
“For far too long, graffiti vandalism has destroyed the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” the councilman said in a statement. “Over time, it has lowered property values and created a false impression of lawlessness. Most of all, these community eyesores ruin our civic pride and often invite other, more serious crimes to take place.”
Ulrich secured $30,000 for his district — Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, Howard Beach, Broad Channel and part of the Rockaways — to fund the program. The initiative is also being funded by the Greater Woodhaven Development Corp.
“Today, we are taking a very proactive step towards eliminating graffiti once and for all,” Ulrich said. “We are sending a strong message to those who wish to break the law that graffiti will not be tolerated in our community and that our neighborhoods deserve respect.”
Maria Thomson, executive director of the GWDC, said the program, which allows constituents to call a graffiti hotline to report the vandalism and then get cleanup services for free, will be an asset to the district.
“Our community is a very stable and beautiful place to live, work and raise a family,” Thomson said in a statement. “Through this program, we now have a powerful tool to keep it that way by keeping our business and residential districts graffiti-free.”
Under the program, Ulrich said, comprehensive cleanups will be conducted for the district’s three-worst areas plagued by graffiti: 101st Avenue between 75th and 111th streets, Rockaway Boulevard between 75th and 111th streets and Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards between Atlantic Avenue and the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge.
The three areas will also receive monthly graffiti maintenance, Ulrich said.
The program also provides a district-wide graffiti hotline — 718-738-1429 — that residents can use to call in graffiti complaints. The gripes will then be given to a cleanup crew that will remove the graffiti in a timely manner, Ulrich said.
The councilman said the program runs until June 2010.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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