Barton County sees high number of vandalized signs

BARTON COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) — Vandalized traffic signs are a big problem in Barton County.

Officials say these signs are being shot up or sawed off by vandals.

This year alone, the county has spent over $60,000 to replace signs — which is well over its budget of around $36,000.

KSN’s Amanda Aguilar asked where the county is getting the extra money to pay for the signs.

“In order to accomplish that goal, we have to take our monies from another account within our budget, so something else gets shorted because of it,” said Dale Phillips, county road and bridge director.

That includes asphalt and bridge work, areas the county doesn’t want to pull money from.

“Your tax dollars aren’t being well spent if we’re out fixing vandalized signs,” said Phillips.

Signs cost around $150. Just last week, the county replaced 5 vandalized ones.

Phillips said the sign problem is county-wide.

“There are a few areas in the county where it’s occurring more and more,” he said.

To prevent more signs from being vandalized, Phillips didn’t tell us the specific areas. He said trashing the signs is risking the public’s safety. That’s why it’s a top priority for his department and law enforcement to stop the vandals.

“You lose a sign and someone can get killed on an intersection before someone even knows the sign is down,” Phillips said.

He added that he has hope that the number of vandalized signs goes down with the public’s help.

If You see a damaged sign, report it. If you see a suspicious person or car near a sign, call police so they can check it out.