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New Brookhaven committe targets graffiti

As part of a new campaign against vandals, Brookhaven Town will use a new anti-graffiti committee to study strengthening local vandalism laws, town officials said Thursday.

Cleaning graffiti costs the town nearly $200,000 a year, Councilwoman Connie Kepert said. Brookhaven's new anti-graffiti panel will work with town officials and Suffolk County police to get stronger laws on the books and step up enforcement, Kepert said.

"If graffiti is allowed to remain, it sends the message that no one cares about a community," Kepert said.

In addition to helping the town craft stronger laws, the task force will conduct an annual graffiti survey, Kepert said. The 15-member panel - which will include local leaders, one resident from each of the town's six council districts and a mural artist - will also work on education campaigns.

Councilwoman Jane Bonner said the town should also consider partnering with businesses and civic groups to provide graffiti-repellent paint, which would prevent property owners from having to repeatedly paint over walls that are constantly vandalized.

"Sometimes cheap is expensive in the long run," she said.

In other town board news, Brookhaven officials:

Announced that an abandoned home on Donegan Avenue in East Patchogue will be demolished Friday. The town has joined with the Long Island Housing Partnership to take down the house and two others in the area and replace them with new, affordable housing, officials said.

Held a reception for volunteer firefighters and other public safety personnel who responded to a propane gas leak in Shirley on Jan. 1.

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