Kansas City leaders grappling with graffiti

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City leaders are grappling with graffiti. It's an ugly, growing problem on the streets of Kansas City and every year it is costing taxpayers thousands of dollars to clean up.

Tuesday, city leaders will unveil a new project they hope will take the city back from tagging vandals.

Graffiti on Kansas City road signs cost taxpayers $18,000 dollars last year. Graffiti on buildings costs even more.

Tuesday a new mural called "A Kingdom Divided against Itself Cannot Stand" will be revealed at the intersection of Independence and Norton avenues. It is one of many planned by the city's Gateway Crimes Task Force.

The "Spirit of Community" mural project hopes to use stunning art on public buildings to deter vandalism.

Kansas City officials say other cities, like Minneapolis, have seen graffiti decrease greatly from a similar program.

It took artists two months to paint the mural, with help from neighborhood kids.

John "JT" Daniels designed and painted the neighborhood mural. He says it could have a large impact on the urban community.

"With the mural going up and all the colors on the wall it is actually beautifying the community for them and if it is for them they'll feel a sense of pride for it," he explained. "It's kinda like destroying your own house; you wouldn't paint all over your house some wacky stuff."

The mural also has 6 coats of anti-graffiti varnish to keep taggers away.

The program budgeted for one to two additional murals, but a large portion of the project's paint was stolen while the mural at Independence and Norton Avenues was underway.

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