Anti-Graffiti Program Starts Up Again

BY JOE MARVILLI
Staff Writer

Northeast Queens will soon have a reprieve from graffiti, as a program that cleaned up vandalism in the past has started up again.

State Sen. Tony Avella points out graffiti to CitySolve’s owner, Bruce Pienkny. Photo by Joe Marvilli

State Sen. Tony Avella points out graffiti to CitySolve’s owner, Bruce Pienkny. Photo by Joe Marvilli

CitySolve Systems recently received a grant from State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) to continue the clean-up mission started when he was in the City Council. For the next three years, CitySolve will travel throughout the district, keeping graffiti off of mom-and-pop businesses and individual residencies, free of charge.

Avella said he worked with CitySolve, starting back in 2006 when he was a councilman, to make a significant dent in graffiti in his district, particularly in commercial strips. When Avella became a senator, he had hoped that incoming Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) would continue the program, but he did not.

Without discretionary funds available in the Senate, Avella made use of an old state grant worth $50,000 that could not be used for its original project.

“CitySolve will be going through the entire Senate district, taking complaints from individual business owners, homeowners and paint over graffiti, free-of-charge,” Avella said.

The grant will give CitySolve a new truck with paint spraying in all colors, making for a quick clean up job. The company sprays the entire affected surface in its exact color so it looks like the graffiti was never there.

“They want their tag to be seen. If they know it’s coming down shortly, they give up,” Bruce Pienkny, owner and president of CitySolve, said.

Avella said he hopes to improve the outreach to the community about the anti-graffiti program. He added that it is particularly helpful for small business owners.

Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@queenstribune.com, or @Joey788.