LAFAYETTE — City-parish department directors said Tuesday they have been working in recent months to combat graffiti on utilities equipment, underpasses and other public property.
The directors spoke at the City-Parish Council in response to Chairman Kenneth Boudreaux’s request for information on efforts to address what he said is an increasing problem with graffiti in Lafayette.
“I have received a number of calls from residents,” Boudreaux said.
Lafayette Utilities System Director Terry Huval said his department began assessing graffiti on electric transformers and other utilities equipment about a month ago.
Huval said that about 40 locations were identified, and crews have been working to clean up the problem areas.
“Unfortunately, it is expensive to do so,” Huval said, commenting that it costs about $250 per location to clean off the paint.
Huval said the LUS crews are actively looking out for new graffiti and have also been responding to complaints from the public.
Lafayette Public Works Department Director Tom Carroll said his department has also been paying more attention to the issue, trying to paint over or wash off graffiti as soon as it is noticed by employees.
He said the most common locations are in concrete-lined coulees and underpasses.
A new paint the City-Parish is using does not resist graffiti, but makes it easier to wash off, Carroll said.
Boudreaux said that in addition to washing off and painting over graffiti, city-parish government should work to make sure that any arrests for graffiti are prosecuted.
“If we don’t see these things through, they tend to come back,” he said.
In other council business Tuesday:
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE: Council members learned Tuesday that the U.S. Justice Department has signed off on new district boundaries for the nine-member council.
The districts were redrawn following the 2010 census to ensure that each of the nine districts have about the same number of residents.
The Justice Department must approve redistricting in several states, a requirement under 1960s-era Civil Rights laws that aim to keep local governments from drawing voting districts that dilute the strength of minority voters.
From 2000 to 2010, the population of Lafayette Parish rose from 190,503 to 221,578, according to census figures.
Much of that growth was in the Broussard and Youngsville areas, and most of the major shifts in council lines are in those area.