America the Messy Yard Police State
Messy yard cops demanding a $40,000 paint job on heavy equipment!Messy yard cops demanding a $40,000 paint job on heavy equipment!
Messy yard cops want to force earth moving business to get a $40,000 paint job on its earthmoving equipment.
Chandler residents complain about graffiti; $40,000 to repaint
by Edythe Jensen - Nov. 20, 2009 02:16 PM
The Arizona Republic .
Jerry Goins has worked around earthmoving equipment for more than 60 years and thought he was prepared for all the bad things that could happen. He never expected graffiti.
Last month, seven large pieces of his heavy equipment stored in a fenced Chandler lot and valued at more than $1 million were covered with graffiti. Goins, 80, parks them on land he owns along Gilbert Road near Chandler Heights Road behind a chain-link fence. He said he uses the parcel to store massive earthmoving vehicles for his Gilbert-based excavation business, Le-Mac Equipment.
Now neighbors in a subdivision across the street are calling city offices, complaining that that the equipment is an eyesore and should be repainted. But Goins said he had no insurance on them and said he can't afford the $40,000 repainting cost. Just moving them to a location where they can be painted will cost hundreds of dollars, he said, because they have to be hauled on giant trailers that need permits to carry wide loads on public streets.
"When the city called my boss and told him it needs to be cleaned up, he got really upset," Le-Mac employee Lynn Becker said.
Goins, a Mesa resident who has owned the Gilbert business for more than 30 years, said he is disappointed neighbors didn't call police when the damage was being done in full view along a major city street. "It took them a long time to do this," he said. "That's why I parked them along the road, so someone would see if anyone tried to steal them."
Chandler code enforcer Rick Brzuchalski said the defaced earthmoving equipment is considered a violation but fixing it is a challenge. Under Chandler's anti-graffiti laws, property owners are required to get rid of eyesore within 10 days, usually by painting over it. If they don't, the city can step in, do the work and bill the owner. Because of the high cost of painting the earthmoving vehicles and Goins' financial plight, Brzuchalski said he is trying to find alternatives.
The city often provides low-cost paint to cover graffiti on walls or structures, but vehicle painting is a more costly and complex process, he said.
"We are trying to work with him to figure out a plan to get it cleaned up and assist him to some degree. We understand he has already been a victim," Brzuchalski said.
In the meantime, Goins reported the incident to police and is offering a $1,000 reward through Silent Witness for information leading to an arrest. He has distributed hundreds of fliers to local businesses and schools, asking anyone who knows about the incident to call Silent Witness: 480-948-6377.