CANTON, S.D. - Canton has about 1,800 new street signs in the city thanks to a federal government program that paid for it. Almost every sign you see in Canton is new. Speed limit signs, snow removal signs, yield signs, snow route signs, and street signs on every block were replaced. The interim city manager, Bill Thorson, said every sign except maybe the railroad signs.
They were all replaced throughout the summer of 2017. Thorson said the Federal Highway Administration hired a local engineering company to upgrade the signs.
"Visibility at night is probably the biggest thing they were looking at with sign replacement," Thorson said. "And they came along and said we will upgrade your signs for no cost and they have to meet the standards."
In order to meet those standards, the signs had to be reflective at night. Additional signs were also needed in certain spots in the city.
"Some people are a little upset they used to have one or no signs in their yard. Now, they have maybe three or four," Thorson said.
It's all to keep drivers safe though.
"We have to maintain the signs that are out there, so that if there is a sign that gets broken or taken down by a tree branch or an accident or something, we have to replace it," Thorson said.
Even though funds for the new signs came from a federal program, city officials made the call not to add block numbers to save money. It's cheaper to buy generic replacement signs in bulk rather than specific ones with block numbers.
"It's a cost effective thing. It's a budgetary deal," Thorson said.
Plus, the old signs didn't have numbers either. The city saved $5.60 per sign by not adding block numbers. That's about $8,400 in total savings.
Each building in the city of Canton is required to have a number on it.
That's another reason why block numbers weren't added to the street signs.
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