Business Owners Speak Out About Recent Graffiti

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JEFFERSON CITY - If you were to take a walk down High Street in Jefferson City, you would be more than likely to encounter some less than attractive artwork.

Downtown business owners said Thursday they have noticed a spike in the presence of graffiti downtown.

Sam Bushman, the owner of Samuel's, said coming into work in the morning and finding graffiti covering a part of the property has become the norm.

"Usually, you'll come into work and you'll find you've got some graffiti on the back, on your steps, or graffiti on the stairway going upstairs," Bushman said.

Under city ordinances, business owners have up to 72 hours to remove any graffiti they find on their property, which Bushman said has often cost him quite a bit of money.

"I had to bring in a paint guy, and he had to go out and get some special chemicals, so it was over $100. So, uh, now I was able to keep the chemicals, and knock on wood I have not been graffitied again. But at least this next time, if I had to take it off, I could do it," he said.

Other business owners told KOMU 8 News it has cost them over $500 overall to cover up the graffiti people drew on their properties.

But other business owners are getting smart.

The owner of Cottonstone Gallery also told KOMU 8 News he has gotten into the habit of putting Vaseline on his doors after being vandalized, so any graffiti that may be drawn on his property will just rub right off.

Carrie Carroll, owner of Carrie's Hallmark and Jefferson City council member, said she sees cleaning up graffiti as just another responsibility in her job.

"It's all just part of being a business owner and doing business. So, you just have to do it and move on, and have a smile on your face and clean it up, and just move on to the next thing," she said.

The Jefferson City Council has already met to discuss this issue, and council members said they hope law enforcement officials and other Cole County officials really make a conscious effort to "keep Jefferson City beautiful".

KOMU 8 News was unable to get a comment from the Jefferson City Police Department, but many business owners have remarked about how involved they feel the police department has been in making sure the perpatrators are caught.