Fraser board approves graffiti eradication ordinance and sculpture purchase


At the Jan. 3 Fraser Board of Trustees meeting, the board unanimously passed Ordinance 508, a strongly worded attempt to eradicate graffiti in Fraser. The ordinance adds Sec. 10-4-10 to the Town Municipal Code.

The code states: “The Fraser Board of Trustees finds and declares that graffiti vandalism constitutes a serious and growing menace, injurious to the public health, safety, morals and general welfare of the residents of the Town. Graffiti vandalism creates visual blight and devalues public and private property. Furthermore, graffiti vandalism contributes substantially to the spread of violence and crime. Prompt eradication of graffiti vandalism is necessary to control the spread of graffiti vandalism and promote the public health, safety, morals and general welfare of the residents of the Town.”

The ordinance allows the town, with permission from property owners, to cover up graffiti on private property at the town’s expense. The ordinance allows the town to charge any property owner who doesn’t allow the town to cover up graffiti on their property and doesn’t cover up the graffiti themselves within 48 hours a misdemeanor and a $1,000 fine.

Trustee Katie Soles said the ordinance could be a violation of freedom of speech rights guaranteed in the First Amendment.

Soles hypothetically asked, what if the town decided something is graffiti and wants to remove it, but then the property owner says it’s not graffiti?

“Another battle with the ACLU,” added Mayor Pro-Tem Eileen Waldow.

Trustee Parnell Quinn challenged the ordinance, saying it is a punishment for the victims of graffiti vandalism. Quinn believes the town should be narrowing in on and punishing repeat offenders of graffiti vandalism.

Quinn then said at a later meeting he’d like to see an ordinance that enacted a $10,000 fine for those caught in the act of graffiti vandalism, $5,000 of which would go to the person who caught and reported the vandal.

Outgoing Mayor Vandernail asked if Quinn had read George Orwell’s “1984.”

Glen Trainor, chief of the Fraser Winter Park Police Department, said virtually every Front Range municipality has a similar measure in place.

According to Trainor, when municipalities don’t remove graffiti quickly, people feel they can add their own touch, but the quick removal of graffiti resolves the issue.

Additionally, Trainor said residents and business owners in Fraser have been in favor of this kind of ordinance because it allows them to keep their properties looking good.

Trainor’s comments seemed to sway the trustees, and they voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 508 and Ordinance 509, which declares graffiti vandalism a public nuisance.

Sculpture Purchase

The Board approved Resolution 2024-01-03 to authorize the purchase of a sculpture from artist Billy Joe Miller.

Steve Fitzgerald, the president of Fraser Valley Arts, addressed the board.

The budget for the project is $30,000, but the town has already budgeted this money as a part of its Art in Public Places budget for 2024-25.

Miller’s initial idea included quite a bit of acrylic glass, according to Fitzgerald. After further discussion, Fraser Valley Arts decided Fraser’s climate is too harsh to have sculptures with acrylic glass.

Miller came back with this proposal shown in the following video rendering provided by Town Manager Michael Brack.

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Fitzgerald said Fraser Valley Arts’ has big plans for 2024.

“I have a group of board members who are not only very dedicated, they’re also getting tired,” Fitzgerald said.

Fraser Valley Arts hopes to bring on a part-time events manager to assist in the organization of events and fundraisers. Additionally, Fraser Valley Arts is investing in professional grant writing help, from a firm called Philanthropy Expert, to help apply for regional and national-level foundation grants.

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