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Federal Way workers cleaning up graffiti backlog | Photos

A city of Federal Way employee uses a sand blasting machine to remove graffiti from public property. - Courtesy of Chris Carrel, city of Federal Way
A city of Federal Way employee uses a sand blasting machine to remove graffiti from public property.
— image credit: Courtesy of Chris Carrel, city of Federal Way

A key longstanding component of the city of Federal Way’s efforts to keep its neighborhoods and downtown attractive is the city’s graffiti removal program.

The city employs two half-time paid positions for graffiti removal, Mei Nong and Jack Johnson. The team removes graffiti from public property and right-of-way.

They also remove graffiti from private residential properties, at the property owner’s request (and with a signed waiver for right of entry, waiving liability for the work). The city’s code requires property owners to remove graffiti as it is considered a public nuisance that often generates additional graffiti and can cause negative impacts on neighborhoods and encourage additional crimes.

Commercial property owners are responsible for removing graffiti at their own expense.

The graffiti removal program recognizes that homeowners may need assistance and so that option is offered.

If graffiti is reported to the city, it prompts a code enforcement notice, which begins the cleanup process. Residents can report graffiti to the city by calling (253) 835-2617.

The graffiti team uses a sand blasting machine for many walls and hard surfaces that are inappropriate to paint over.

The machine was out of service for two months and recently returned to service. So, there has been a growing backlog of graffiti that residents may have noticed. The team is chipping away at the backlog and encourages residents to report graffiti to the hotline.

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