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Road signs are disappearing in north end of county

Road signs are going missing in the north end of Pearl River County, so county employees will try using plastic signs instead of aluminum ones in an effort to reduce that theft.

District II Supervisor Malcolm Perry said that while reviewing roads in his district to create a priority list of roads that need repair, he realized many of the road signs have been stolen. Perry estimates 80 percent of the road signs are missing in his district.

He said he believes some are being stolen so the aluminum can be sold at a scrapyard. Road Manager Charlie Schielder said he thinks most of them are being stolen so that people can use them as a decoration, but said the county could try using plastic signs instead of aluminum to see if that reduces the thefts.

Schielder said some road signs are stolen as soon as they are replaced, such as the sign for Gobbler Head Road, which is usually taken the day after the department puts a new one up, he said.

The county is also dealing with a long standing issue of utility companies damaging county roads and then failing to notify the county or pay for the damage.

Perry said Wayne Stewart Road was recently damaged when a utility company used a backhoe to dig across the road to place a water meter. The gouge across the asphalt road was filled with dirt.

Schielder said utility companies are supposed to put roads back in the condition they found them in as best as able if they cause damage. However, when such damage occurs, the county sometimes does not learn about it until a resident complains.

Schielder said he understands utility companies are serving the public, so the county does try to work with them and make sure they have access to complete work such as installing water meters.