Belleville, Ill. (KMOV) -- St. Clair County is planning on getting tough with property owners who do not remove graffiti in a timely manner.
Under a proposed ordinance, if a property owner is given notice by the county to remove graffiti, they have five to 14 days to remove it.
After the period, they’ll face a fine of $75 to $750 a day for each day the graffiti remains.
But some aldermen have questions about the ordinance. Board Member Ed Cockrell (R-New Athens) says it could create a burden on some property owners since many times the graffiti is in the more economically-depressed portions of the county.
"Ouch, yeah, that's pretty stiff for somebody that can't afford it. I mean, fines are made to be a detterent but it;s the people that are putting the graffiti on there that aren't going to be responsible for that anyway," Cockrell said.
The county wants to eliminate gang graffiti as quickly as possible since many gang members like to “tag” or mark what they consider to be their territory.
The bill is also aimed at property owners who buy up property as an investment but may not even live in the same town or state. This is one way to get them to keep up their property.
In St. Louis, the city spends $300,000 annually on Operation Brightside, which aims to clean up and remove graffiti throughout the area.
Residents can call 314-772-4646 to report graffiti and have crews remove it.