As the snow melts we find things we haven’t seen in months, like flowers, sidewalks and…graffiti?The Elmira Skate Park received some spring cleaning last week to erase the vandalism that appeared in the bowl portion of the park recently.
Hans Nuys, co-owner of APP All Remove, had his crew out working last Friday.
“It’s not a victimless crime,” Nuys said. “Look at the equipment, look at the guys working. If you don’t stay on top of it then people think it’s alright to do it. Before you know it, this place will be closed.”
And they’re starting to get busy now because aerosol spray paint can work again, due to the milder temperatures. After cleaning off the graffiti they put a protective coating on the surface to make it easier to clean.
“No sheen to it,” Nuys said. “You can’t even feel it. What it does is it prevents penetrating of oil, water, grease, so it makes it easy. You can just come in and get it off. Right now we’re using a gel that kind of lifts it off.”
The company started in Holland and they do all kinds of buildings, soccer stadiums in Europe, monumental buildings, subways, and train stations. He started off by himself, but now co-owns it with Steve Jacobi.
He said they cleaned graffiti off the WMC a couple years ago. They also have their protective coating on the Woolwich Township administrative building.
“It’s amazing – the Lutheran church, every year they get swastikas. Again, they probably don’t even know what it means,” Nuys said of the vandals.
He said usually they don’t clean the graffiti off until the police come in, they send in forensics, take pictures and put it on a file.
“We have a power washer with hot water,” Nuys said. “It’s like doing your dishes. You can throw all the detergent in you want, but you use cold water, nothing’s going to happen.”
Karen Makela, Woolwich director of recreation and facilities, says money is set aside for dealing with graffiti, part of their general maintenance account.
“But we do track vandalism, so that on any given year we can have a good handle on how much of our operating dollars went towards malicious graffiti and vandalism that occurs across the township,” Makela said.
She said it cost about $500 to get rid of these few bits of graffiti and it’s important to remove it as soon as possible, to hopefully deter future graffiti.
“Any time that we do have instances of vandalism we do notify the police who do a police report and certainly follow up there from any leads that they have to identify,” Makela said. “And if we are able to identify who did the damage then we do look for restitution through whatever means we’re able.”