Street sign damage costing taxpayers $$

By James Stewart In less than two years, the replacement of street signs within the Brady city limits has begun again’ at the expense of the taxpayers. A little more than two years ago, all of the street signs in Brady were replaced, but due to a continual problem of vandalism, the signs are damaged and stolen and have left many street intersections unmarked in various portions of the city. The first round of replacement signs arrived at the city warehouse last week and are set to be replaced in the next few days. This batch of 44 signs will only cover a portion of town and the approximate replacement cost for each sign is $25 for a combined $1,100 of taxpayer dollars. “We began with a small area that is contained within the boundaries that run from Commerce St. south to 17th St. and from Bridge St. west out to the racetrack,” said Darlene Reynolds, manager of the city’s warehouse. “It took quite a while to get the list made up of what intersections needed signs, but we now have those ready to be installed.” Marvin Smith, head of the street department for the City of Brady, has been evaluating the recurring problem and doing everything possible to minimize the vandalism. “A lot of these signs are simply run over or broken off where the signs are mounted to the poles,” he said. “The mounting brackets are designed to be resistant to vandals, but the ones that we do find’ oftentimes laying in the ditch close to where the sign originally was’are simply broken off.” A two-person crew has been approved by city management to work at replacing the signs which will be done in addition to regular work projects. “This problem has more than just replacement costs attached to it,” said Reynolds. “Emergency vehicles rely upon these signs on a regular basis, and it can pose a big problem in the case of a life- threatening emergency.” The problem of the signs disappearing is believed to be closely related to the vandalism that has also been a problem over the past several months. “We really want to encourage parents and the general public to make an effort to notice when you see something suspicious, especially when signs start showing up in bedrooms or in backyards,” said Smith. “It is going to take the entire community stepping up and helping out to make a difference in the way in which these problems are viewed, both by the adults and the adolescents. When it is all said and done, each one of us has to pay for these signs. This $1,100 could have been spent in much better ways than replacing signs that were only a couple of years old.” Anyone who sees suspicious activity is encouraged to call the Brady Police Department and report the incident. Persons with information about those responsible for the damage can be eligible for a reward by calling Crime Stoppers at 456-TIPS.

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