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Gentile announced the program during a press conference yesterday, in front of a graffiti covered wall on Bath Avenue. (Source: Gentile’s office)

Councilman Vincent Gentile is leading a charge against illegal graffiti throughout the 43rd District, teaming up with a local beautification group to get the job done.

The local pol announced the graffiti cleaning program yesterday, which includes a 24-7 hotline for residents to call and have graffiti removed.

“Graffiti is a blight on our communities and affects our quality of life,” Councilman Vincent J. Gentile said in a press release. “It increases store vacancy rates, decreases property and presents a sense of chaos and disorder on the streets while negatively impacting our civic pride. That is why, beginning today, we will be launching the most aggressive graffiti cleaning campaign ever initiated in southwest Brooklyn!”

Gentile has allocated $33,000 to the Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst Beautification Preservation Alliance to operate the program, which will kick off by inspecting all major commercial corridors within the 43rd Council district and removing any graffiti.

“Graffiti continues to be a source of frustration and concern for the business owners and residents of southern Brooklyn,” said Patrick Condren, the executive director of the Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst Beautification Preservation Alliance. “Graffiti vandals cost our community tens of thousands of dollars in removal and clean up each year. With the assistance of all concerned merchants and residents we can enhance the image and aesthetic value of our beautiful neighborhoods.”

After inspecting and removing graffiti from commercial streets, including from rolldown gates, side walls, fences, doors and mailboxes, the group will then visit the sites monthly for follow-up inspections and maintenance.

Graffiti has become a prominent issue in Gentile’s reelection bid, with Republican opponent John Quaglione saying that the incumbent has allowed graffiti to proliferate in the neighborhood. But Gentile dismissed any suggestion that the program was a response to his opponent’s allegations, saying that it has been in development long before the race kicked off.

“This program has been in the works for quite a while and will be one of the most aggressive graffiti cleaning campaigns ever initiated in southwest Brooklyn,” Gentile told Bensonhurst Bean. “The secret weapon will be a special 24/7 anti-graffiti hotline that residents and merchants can call to report locations of graffiti or request its removal.”

To have graffiti removed, residents and business owners can call Gentile’s hotline at (718) 748-5200 ext. 201.

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