Stark County signs under attackA Stark County official said he is fed up with the vandalism and theft of area signs, mostly because taxpayers usually end up footing the bill for replacements and the mischief puts drivers at risk.
A Stark County official said he is fed up with the vandalism and theft of area signs, mostly because taxpayers usually end up footing the bill for replacements and the mischief puts drivers at risk.
Stark County Road Superintendent Al Heiser said he replaced one particular Dickinson stop sign approximately six times in the last four months. He suspects the sign, at the intersection of 32nd Street and 112 Avenue Southwest, is a regular target.
“Somebody’s got a real problem for that stop sign. I don’t understand it,” Heiser said Wednesday.
Heiser added that it is clear the stop sign is damaged on purpose because the post is always bent in the same way with vehicle tracks leading up to it.
Luann Letang, who lives north of the stop sign, agrees the intersection is a hot spot for vandals. She said every time the county replaces the sign, it is usually down within a week.
“It was intentional,” Letang said.
She added that the knocked down sign could lead to an accident.
“It’s easy to not see people there,” she said, adding that people passing through the intersection are usually confused as to who has the right of way.
Heiser said it has become routine for Letang and some of her neighbors to report the sign being down.
“If you report a down sign, the life you might save someday is yours because stop signs are there for a reason,” he said.
Additionally, Heiser said people target particular signs in Stark County. He added that “bump” and “hill” signs are stolen, knocked down or shot most often.
Stark County Sheriff Clarence Tuhy said it can cost up to $150 to replace signs. He also said catching vandals in the act is near impossible.
“They’re doing it basically when we’re not around,” Tuhy said.
Heiser said he is stumped as to why anyone would get a kick out of destroying signs.
“It’s senseless,” he said. “You can’t fix stupid.”