WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP -- There are street signs at almost every intersection in Washington Township, near Freeburg. But some spots only have damaged poles. Street signs used to be here, but state police say they were stolen frustrating township officials.
"There's eight roads now, intersections of roads that won't have signs for upwards of maybe two weeks to a month before we can get the signs replaced," Randall Kissinger said.
Washington Township Supervisor Randall Kissinger says stolen road signs are a problem every year. It's an expensive problem. The signs cost about $80 each. This latest round of thefts cost taxpayers around $650.
"We have done some improvements to make it not so easy for them and they find a way to do it anyhow. They go through the extra work to get the signs," Kissinger said.
"I don't know how you'd put a stop to it. It can be done I suppose in the middle of the night," Pauline Gemberling said.
According to township supervisors, the missing signs are not just an issue of cost. They are a concern for safety. If the signs are missing, emergency responders may not know where to go.
"Middleburg supplies the police activity for us and I'm sure they don't know the streets as well as the people who live here," Gemberling said.
"It's frustrating to the people who have to know where to go. Like UPS or FedEx if they deliver out that way. They have to know where to go," Marian Volinskie said.
"Sometimes they steal stop signs too, which is really an emergency problem, especially if you have somebody driving in the area that's not familiar with the roads," Kissinger said.
Officials in Washington Township say they are looking into changing to fiberglass street signs. Those signs are a little more expensive, but they are useless to scrap metal dealers.