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(A) Definitions. For the purpose of this section the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
GRAFFITI. Includes markings which deface, deform, or mar, or which cause the defacing, deforming, or marring of, any public or private property, including by way of illustration and not limitation, buildings, trees, lampposts, poles, hydrants, bridges, piers, sidewalks, streets, and alleyways, or the surface of any public or private property located upon any public thoroughfare or right-of-way, or upon any public place within the city. However, this section shall not prohibit the posting of notices required by law to be posted.
OWNER. All public and private property owners in the city.
(B) Violations, penalties.
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to cause the appearance of graffiti on public or private property within the corporate city limits.
(2) Any person who violates this section shall, upon conviction, be fined in an amount not to exceed $2,500.
(3) All fines collected pursuant to the immediately preceding divisions (A) and (B) shall be deposited in a special fund (the "Fund") for reimbursement to qualified owners of expenses incurred pursuant to this section.
(1) Any owner or tenant shall notify the city Police Department (the "Department") within 48 hours of the appearance of graffiti on their property.
(2) Upon notification, the Department shall cause an inspection of the graffiti to be made, a police report to be filed, and shall begin an investigation as the Department deems necessary and prudent.
(3) Once an inspection has been made, the owner shall have ten business days in which to remove or cover the graffiti.
(4) Noncompliance with the removal provision of this section shall occur at the expiration of the ten-business-day period if the graffiti has not been either removed or covered.
(5) In the event of such noncompliance, the Building and Planning Director or his or her designee shall issue a written notice to the violating owner. The notice shall order the owner to correct the noncompliance by removal and/or covering of the graffiti within five days of receipt of the notice. The notice may be served either personally on the owner or sent by certified mail with a return receipt requested. If the owner is a nonresident of the city, the notice shall be sent to owner's last known address.
(6) If the owner fails to abate the violation within the time prescribed by the notice, the owner shall be deemed to have granted permission to the respective city official to cause a designee of the city to enter the property for the limited purpose of covering and/or removing such graffiti.
(7) The Clerk-Treasurer shall make a certified statement of the actual cost incurred by the city in such covering and/or removal, and issue a bill for such costs, including administrative costs and removal costs, which bill shall be delivered to the owner either by hand or by certified mail, return receipt requested. The owner shall, within ten days of receipt or refusal of such notice, pay the amount due at the Clerk-Treasurer's office.
(8) Any notice of violation or bill issued under this section may be appealed to the Board of Public Works and Safety, if notice of appeal is given to the Clerk-Treasurer within seven days of the owner's receipt or refusal of the notice of violation. The Board of Public Works and Safety shall hear any properly requested appeal at a regularly scheduled meeting within 15 business days following receipt of such appeal request, and shall make a determination at the meeting at which it hears the appeal or at its subsequent regularly scheduled meeting.
(9) If the owner fails to pay a bill issued under this section within the time specified, the Clerk-Treasurer shall certify to the County Auditor the amount of the bill, plus any additional administrative costs incurred in the certification. The auditor shall place the total amount certified on the tax duplicate for the property affected, and the total amount, including any accrued interest, shall be collected as delinquent taxes are collected and shall be disbursed to the General Fund of the city.
(D) Nothing contained herein shall be construed to preclude any criminal investigation by the Department or any other law enforcement agency.
(Ord. 700, passed 1-22-18; Am. Ord. 706, passed 6-25-18) Penalty, see § 10.99