La Crosse, WI (WXOW)-- Graffiti is an increasing problem in La Crosse. And Thursday night, the city council could vote to adopt a new ordinance that would increase the penalty for acts of vandalism.
"You know the historic downtown, and even if it's not downtown, the buildings are pretty alone," said Tad Meddaugh, a downtown business owner.
Meddaugh says he's noticed an increase in the amount of graffiti in the area.
"I don't know if it's gang related or just people being naughty," Meddaugh said.
"I know as I'm driving around, I'm seeing just huge amounts of it," said Audrey Kader, La Crosse City Council president.
Thursday night the La Crosse City Council will vote on an ordinance that would require property owners to quickly paint over graffiti.
"From a business prospective, it's just good business to clean it off anyway," Kader said. "And, it's less attractive for them to go back to the same place to do it."
In the proposed ordinance, after a property is vandalized the owner has 24 hours to remove the graffiti or the city can come in and clean it at the owner's expense.
"To bill me for just 24 hours, when it wasn't really my fault, I think they could be a little more forgiving of that," Meddaugh said.
The proposed ordinance would also make policies tougher for those vandalizing property.
"If they're found with the materials to do graffiti, it can be taken as a real reason to cite them," Kader said.
New rules would mean one act of vandalism could result in three separate fines.
"If it's a small fine, then big deal. But if it multiplies, I think it'll help," Meddaugh said.
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