LIVINGSTON -- It must be a tough life for taggers in Livingston.
That's thanks to an anti-graffiti truck and its operator, James Linan, said City Manager Richard Warne.
The truck was built by Dan Folkner, a vehicle maintenance worker, and Jesus Chavez Jr., a fleet maintenance mechanic, in 2006, after they were sent to Fresno to study a similar graffiti truck there, Warne said.
Folkner and Chavez made two trips to Fresno to make sure they knew exactly what they needed to build their own model.
The truck and equipment cost the city $68,943, but is worth every penny, Warne said.
The truck uses recycled paint that costs about $6 a gallon, instead of $22 a gallon for regular paint, said Jim Rightsell, street supervisor for the Public Works Department.
Before Folkner and Chavez built the truck, graffiti had to be painted over using brushes and rollers, a monotonous task that would cost city employees lots of time, said Kathryn Reyes, Public Works superintendent.
Graffiti removal was a full-time job, and even then workers couldn't keep up with it, Reyes said. But since the graffiti truck's introduction, Linan not only has been able to quickly eliminate graffiti with the truck's spray guns and seven colors of paint, but he also has time to work on parks and streetlight repair.
Linan patrols the city looking for any graffiti and takes reports from the police and residents, he said.
"I can probably clean it quicker than they (taggers) can make it, so it works in my favor," Linan said.
The city will remove or cover graffiti on public or private property at no cost to the owner, Warne said. The graffiti truck operates every day.