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City expecting to spend $1.5 million next year for graffiti cleanup

Graffiti in Winnipeg is seen in an undated image Graffiti in Winnipeg is seen in an undated image

A new report is shedding light on how much the City of Winnipeg is spending each year to remove graffiti.

The report, located in the agenda for the city’s public works committee, includes graffiti reports up to 2022.

In 2018, the city responded to 2,684 requests to remove graffiti, with the number decreasing slightly to 2,591 in 2019 and then significantly to 709 in 2020 during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Requests once again rose in 2021 to 2,753 but plummeted to 1,047 in 2022.

The city said 'blitzing' - a process in which city workers look for graffiti on their routes to clean - also takes place.

One of the issues discussed in the report is the city’s requirement to get permission from property owners before cleaning graffiti on their property.

“The City has limited rights of entry on private property to provide certain City services and to enforce City bylaws, where reasonable notice is provided and Charter requirements are met. However, this authority does not extend to graffiti removal on non-vacant homes and businesses without amendments to provincial legislation or bylaws,” the report reads.

The report doesn’t recommend any amendments at this time due to concerns employees could be put at risk if they remove graffiti from private and business property.

“Further, timely removal of graffiti may not be substantially improved by creating and enforcing new bylaw requirements as that process would nevertheless require orders, appeals and notice requirements be satisfied prior to entry,” the report reads.

According to the report, the city spent roughly $1.4 million on graffiti cleanup last year, and is currently projecting to spend $1.5 million in 2024.

The report will be discussed during the public works committee meeting on March 5. Top Stories

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