AUGUSTA — City employees and volunteers spent several hours Wednesday removing spray paint from walls, benches and markers along the Kennebec River Rail Trail.

Leif Dahlin, Augusta’s director of community services, said vandals hit 18 spots sometime overnight from Tuesday into Wednesday. The vandalism occurred in the area of the trail entrance near the Maine State Housing Authority building. The paint proved too difficult to remove and will need to be painted over, Dahlin said.

“This has got to stop,” he said. “It’s not right.”

Dahlin said the number of vandalism incidents has increased in recent weeks.

“Some new vandals are making mischief here in Augusta and we’re going to do our best to apprehend and prosecute,” he said.

Offenders would be charged with criminal mischief, a class D crime that could carry jail time and up to a $2,000 fine. Augusta does not have a separate anti-graffiti ordinance.


Augusta police Lt. Christopher Read said the city is committed to cleaning or covering the painted letters and symbols to help remove vandals’ motivation. The commitment is expensive in both material and labor costs for the cleanup crews and police.

“When this becomes a problem, we have to invest man hours to solve it and to keep it from happening again,” Read said.

Resident Kathleen “Sukey” Sikora has volunteered countless hours cleaning up the mess others deliberately create.

“It breaks my heart every time I have to reach out to Sukey,” Dahlin said.

Sikora declined an invitation to comment.

Dahlin urged anyone who sees suspicious activity, such as individuals carrying cans of spray paint, to call police.


Time spent cleaning up the graffiti is taken away from other city improvement projects, Dahlin said. The paint used in the most recent incident will have to be painted over.

“We want to keep our capital city as beautiful as it can be,” he said. “I have more resources than these guys do, but it’s tragic we have to waste them on this kind of work.”

Read urged anyone with information to call Augusta police at 626-2370.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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