Kokomo Close To Passing New Temporary Sign Rules

The new rules would make permits more expensive and fine renters who leave signs up for more than 30 days.

rusted temporary sign

Photo: Steve Snodgrass / Flickr

Signs like this are not only eyesores, says Kokomo's mayor, but have proven dangerous in some cases.

Kokomo’s mayor expects new, stricter rules on temporary signs to pass the city council Monday. Speaking Wednesday on WFIU’s “Ask the Mayor,” Greg Goodnight says the city needs the new rules because equipment rented by the city’s two temporary sign vendors tended not to be in compliance with the existing sign ordinance.

“We did a spot check — I think it was in December, I don’t remember the date – there were 48 signs out between these two companies and I think it was 28 were not in compliance and half of them didn’t even bother to go get a permit as they were required to do,” Goodnight says.

Signs were left untouched for months at a time, were often dangerously close to roadways, and frequently blocked public thoroughfares.

Some sign shop owners say they will work with customers to help keep them in compliance if the new rules pass.  Bob Wall owns Kokomo Sign Pro and agrees with the mayor that some existing signs had become eyesores or impediments.

“They are misused,” Wall says. “[Renters] allow them to be there a longer period of time and they are not a professional-looking signage.”

Wall says he also sees the new rules as a means to get citizens to help sell the city to potential visitors and investors.

“That’s part of the need – to attract the right kind of clientele – with professional signage, professional look to their operation,” Wall says.

The new rules would increase the cost of a sign permit and allow the city greater leeway to ticket ordinance violators.  The ordinance, which specifies signs may only be up for 30 days at a time, would not affect political signage backing candidates or issues.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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