Tuesday, March 26th, 2013
By Shelley Grieshop
The signs, they are a changin'
  ST. HENRY - Village workers will be cruising the streets at night checking signs for reflectivity, thanks to new government regulations.
Council members on Monday approved the appointment of seasonal workers Tom Laux and Bill Woods as sign inspectors. The pair were trained for the task by the Ohio Department of Transportation.
"They will decide whether our signs need replaced," village administrator Ron Gelhaus said. "Older ones can lose their reflectivity over time."
Every six months Laux and Woods will canvas one of three established zones in the community to ensure each of the village's approximately 200 signs meet reflectivity standards. The men will use Gelhaus' SUV for the project.
"The rules say we have to use a 2000 year model or newer SUV," Gelhaus said.
The replacement price per sign varies depending on the size or type; a stop sign typically costs about $35. The new regulations do not include state highway signs within the village limits or street name signs, although the latter could be included in the future, officials said.
By 2015 all cities and towns must have a plan to maintain minimum reflectivity levels of all regulatory and street signs such as stop signs, speed limits and yield markers, according to new standards added to the Federal Highway Administration 2009 manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
The community was given other options such as replacing all signs every 10 years or developing a rotating system of replacement. However, Gelhaus said he'd rather replace the signs when the inspectors feel reflectivity has deteriorated.
About half of traffic fatalities occur at night, the FHA reports. Although intoxication and fatigue contribute to the high rate of nighttime crashes, driving after dark is inherently hazardous because of decreased driver visibility, the federal agency states.
The retroreflective signs prevent roadway departure crashes by bouncing light from vehicle headlights back toward the vehicle and the driver's eyes. The materials used for the signs make them appear brighter and easier to see and read.
Also on Monday, council members heard second reading on an ordinance setting compensation for the pool manager, lifeguards, park and recreation and other summer employees.
The ordinance includes a $100 raise for the pool manager, who will earn a salary of $4,100 for the season, and a $50 increase for the returning recreation director for total wages of $2,050. Lifeguard salaries increased by 25 cents per hour and now range from $5.75 to $7.25 per hour based on years of service.
Salaries for other positions and the price of swimming pool tickets remain the same. If purchased by May 4, pool season tickets per family are $75 and individuals, $40. After May 4, family tickets are $80 and individuals, $45. Single admission is $3 and children 3 and younger are free.
Also remaining the same as 2012 are rental costs for the shelter houses and ball diamonds.
In other business, council members,
• approved the appointment of Amber LaGuire to a five-year term on the park and recreation board.
• learned village crews are working to erect permanent informational signs at North and South Park.
• learned a new statue of a boy and girl reading together on a bench recently was placed at the village library with the help of town workers. The Heritage Club sponsored the "village beautification" project, Gelhaus said.
• learned branch pick-up throughout the village starts April 1 and will continue on the first working day of the month.
• learned the annual St. Patrick's Day parade and festivities on March 17 went well with only a few minor incidents investigated, according to village Police Chief Bob Garman.
Additional online stories for this date
Print edition only stories for this date
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• New court fee to pay for future projects
• Police sergeant gets pay raise
• County's unemployment rate lower in February
• Fort Recovery man injured in snowmobile accident
• Bulldogs hungry for success
• Celina hoping to contend with WBL favorites
• Bulldogs have set lofty goals for this season
• Cavaliers should be among MAC contenders
• Cavaliers will be led by their nine juniors
• Experienced roster has Kaup optimistic
• Indians have mix of youth and experience
• Flyers still scrambling to fill open positions
• Flyers welcome back nine letter winners
• Minster gunning for third straight state title
• Wildcats loaded for another successful year
• Bowersock excited to coach varsity squad
• New Bremen has nine letter winners returning
• Parkway lacking experience on the mound
• Parkway will contend for fifth straight title
• Pitching should be a strength for Redskins
• St. Henry will rely on pitching, versatility
• Roughriders were hit hard by graduation
• Grothause focused on steady improvement
• Bulldogs hoping to contend for WBL titles
• Distance runners will anchor Cavaliers
• Numbers an issue in Hemmelgarn's first year
• Marion Local has a strong core of athletes
• Minster primed for another strong campaign
• Cardinals counting on senior leaders
• Parkway optimistic with solid veterans
• Redskins hoping to excel under Helmstetter
• Roughriders striving for improved results
• Bulldogs have their eyes on WBL crown
• Trio of letter winners return for St. Marys
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