Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wichita City Council approves new graffiti ordinance

 WICHITA — This morning, the city may get tough on graffiti, pave the way for Eaton Place's owners to refinance and apply for a grant that could add bike lanes downtown and convert some one-way streets into two-ways.
Here's a breakdown of the most notable votes expected at the Wichita City Council meeting:
* Eaton Place's owners, Metro Plains Development LLC, are asking the city to amend some long-standing agreements so they can privately refinance.
The move doesn't have any financial impact on the city, and city and company officials say Eaton Place is not at risk of foreclosure. If it was foreclosed, city taxpayers could be on the hook for about $1.7 million because of prior incentives the city agreed to.
* The city saw a 62 percent increase in graffiti between 2006 and 2009. Now, it's asking council members to adopt a tough policy that makes it illegal to have spray paint, broadtipped markers and other graffiti tools on public property or within 100 feet of it.
If approved, those convicted would face a $250 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.
* Council members will vote to apply for $24.5 million in federal grants that would help pay for a major redesign of many downtown streets. The city would pitch in $10.5 million.
The money would pay for the conversion of several downtown streets, including Main Street, from one-way to two-way. It would also add bike lanes to several streets, including 1st, 2nd and Market.

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