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updated: 12/27/2011 10:24 PM

Spray paint, marker sales restricted in Grayslake

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  • Rhett Taylor

    Rhett Taylor

  • Bruce Bassett

    Bruce Bassett


Grayslake is now restricting the sales of spray paint and wide-tipped markers in an effort to reduce graffiti complaints in the village.

Under a local law that became effective this month, no one under the age of 18 may buy spray paint or markers ⅜-inch and wider unless accompanied by an adult.

In addition, anyone younger than 18 is prohibited from possessing the markers and spray paint without adult supervision.

Grayslake's new law is similar to ordinances in nearby towns such as Round Lake Beach, Mundelein and Round Lake Park, officials said. They describe the law as a "tool" that'll help Grayslake police prevent graffiti and other vandalism.

Mayor Rhett Taylor said cleanup of graffiti on signs and other public property isn't the best use of Grayslake employees' time or residents' tax money.

"These are tax dollars we can spend doing something else," Taylor said.

Grayslake trustees and Taylor discussed the ordinance for the first time at an informal committee meeting in mid-November, then held a formal vote to pass it about three weeks later.

Trustee Ron Jarvis said in November that he supported the ordinance, but that it was "a shame" the village had to pursue it. Jarvis said it means his young son and other children interested in building models can't buy the spray paint for their hobby on their own.

Another trustee, Bruce Bassett, said he backed the local law because he's seen the spray paint and markers used for the wrong purposes on public property.

"Several times a year, somebody will do something to one of the (Metra) train stations," said Bassett. "We'll have to get that taken care of."

Officials said at least one local chain hardware store in Grayslake has had an internal policy of not selling the wide-tipped markers or spray paint to those younger than 18.

Taylor said the only concern expressed publicly about the ordinance came from three teenagers who submitted questions to him. He said the teens ultimately understood the village's rationale.

"I think it's great they're paying attention," Taylor said.

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