Naples to tidy up state’s business signs

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — In an effort to make certain that business signs permitted by the state look more attractive, the Town of Naples is drawing attention to ones that have broken or faded.

The town has sent a letter to the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) documenting the 22 signs that are in disrepair, according to Naples Town Manager Ephrem Paraschak.

Also, during a recent Naples Board of Selectmen meeting, it was suggested that the town contact the business owners about worn-out signs. Some people may not know the condition of their MDOT-permitted road signs.

These are the rectangular signs, letting travelers know how many miles away and in which direction various businesses are located. The business owners pay the MDOT an annual fee to have those signs displayed in the state rights-of-way.

Over the past several months, the selectmen have been discussing signs — those issued by the state and also welcome signs positioned on the boundaries of Naples.

Recently, Paraschak sent the part-time maintenance person on a mission to document the conditions of state issued signs around town.

It was discovered that “22 signs are in rough shape,” he said.

For example, one of the signs on Route 114 is hanging sideways with one side of the sign still bolted to the post.

Paraschak admitted that this problem was not high on MDOT’s priority list.

Selectman Rich Cebra said that was true.

He cited his experience as a state representative serving on the transportation budget committee, and also as a local businessman operating Steamboat Landing Miniature Golf Course.

“The only thing MDOT cares about is the business paying for it (the sign) in January. It is not a priority,” he said.

The sign he paid for was located off Route 302 in Casco. When it was discovered the sign was in disrepair, he received a letter from MDOT, saying “take down the sign or lose it,” he said.

Cebra said it would be a good idea for the town to provide the MDOT with a list of signs that need replacement.

Paraschak said these are signs that are “broken” or that people “cannot read anymore.”

He said he planned to ask MDOT if some signs could be consolidated on posts. The board indicated it did not have any problem with the town making that request.

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