Washougal leaders say the city’s graffiti problem seems to be getting worse.
Graffiti in Washougal has almost tripled in the last three years, according to Michelle Wright, the city’s public works business administrator.
“The city doesn’t exactly know why graffiti has increased,” Wright said. “This increase has happened during COVID, so that might be one of the causes of the increase.”
“Graffiti is costly, destructive, lowers property values and impacts the appearance of the community,” Wright added. “It keeps us from moving forward as a community because we continue to use our limited resources to try and keep the city clean. It is a shame that there are individuals who participate in this sort of vandalism, defacing our community and adding extra work for city crews and private property owners.”
Trevor Evers, the city’s public works director, said during a June 27 Washougal City Council workshop that graffiti has “spiraled out of control the last couple of months.”
“We’re trying to be as highly responsive as possible,” Evers said. “We try to get to it with immediacy, especially with how offensive it is — it needs to get removed immediately, depending on what’s spray-painted. Ones that are lower priority, if you will, we get to those when we can.”