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Signs continue to cost county
Mandates and vandalism keep replacements rolling
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Spending money on signs continues to be a sign of the times for Barton County, according to Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips.
Phillips’ department is already starting on work that is not mandated to be done until next year, and even at this rate, it will take a lot of work to get it all done, he reported.
“As federal mandates, effective in 2013, call for larger lettering on the 911 (road) signage, the department will be responsible for manufacturing 1,500 new signs. 
“Of that, 150 were produced in the last two weeks,” Phillips reported.
And the federal regulations are calling for more elaborate signs, the Road and Bridge director explained. “Forty stop signs were replaced with high intensity signs, meeting new federal standards.  
“All stop signs are to be replaced by 2015, totaling over 2,000 signs in the county.
“All regulatory signs will be replaced as well.”
Unfortunately, the department also has to keep up with other sign replacements, too, Phillips added. “Additional signage was replaced after being vandalized or because of accidents.”
Road and Bridge Department sign expert, Ken Fritz, recently told Barton County Commissioners that he stays busy replacing signs around the county. “We get a lot of damage,” he said. He said the county had to replace between 300 and 400 signs just last year. “We put new 911 signs up and they shoot them or steal them,” Friz noted. “We’ve got a lot of problems.”
The expense is not a small one for county taxpayers, either, he said. “They’re not cheap signs.”