Residents fed up with vandals

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 10, 2008

NATCHEZ — After fielding complaints from residents in the South Broadmoor neighborhood, the Adams County Road Crew will be replacing vandalized road signs in the area.

Road crew Manager Clarence “Curly” Jones said his office has been receiving complaints from residents who are fed up with the vandalism.

Jones said many residents in the neighborhood believe the vandalism, in the form of graffiti, is gang related.

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“They just want them fixed,” he said.

Jones said so far he’s aware of at least five signs that need to be replaced.

And while cleaning the damaged signs might appear to be the quickest solution to the problem, it’s not that simple, Jones said.

Jones said the harsh chemicals needed to remove the graffiti are extremely damaging to the actual sign.

“It ruins the sign,” he said.

Once chemicals are applied to the sign, the sign loses its reflective capabilities and the lettering can also become blurred, Jones said.

To stay one step ahead of the vandals, Jones has ordered new signs that can be cleaned without damage to the sign.

But those cleanable signs don’t come cheap.

Kent Watts is the customer service manager at Custom Products in Jackson, and his company will be supplying the county’s new road signs.

Watts said the new cleanable signs are approximately twice as expensive as traditional road signs.

The county will be purchasing the new signs for approximately $50. A normal stop sign is only about $25, Watts said.

The new signs will have a thick layer of acrylic that won’t stop vandals but will allow cleaning.

And with five new signs on their way to the county, local officials said it’s money that the county should not have to spend.

Adams County Supervisor S.E. “Spanky” Felter said he has also received calls about the signs and is upset the county has to pay for replacement signs.

“I wish they’d grow up,” Felter said of the vandals. “This has upset a lot of people.”

Felter urged the neighborhood’s residents to be mindful of suspicious activity in the area.

Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy Maj. Jody Waldrop said the sheriff’s office has been notified of the situation and will be patrolling the area.

“We’ll be on the lookout,” Waldrop said.