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Lancaster County Council’s idea to set up its own sign-making shop is a good one. The county is going to have to replace road name signs and traffic signs in the county within the next few years to comply with a federal mandate.
The new signs must have more reflective features, which are meant to increase highway safety.
The mandate requires all regulatory signs, such as stop, yield and speed limit signs, be updated in the county by January 2015.
The county must replace all of its road name signs by January 2018.
It’s not going to be cheap to replace the signs, and many of the signs have to be custom made. Existing sign-making businesses couldn’t make the signs because special equipment will be required to make the new type of signs.
Council members hope that setting up a sign-making shop here would be a way of creating some jobs, and they also see it as a way the county could make some money.
The county could make money by selling its sign-making services to other counties, which also must comply with the federal mandate.
County officials are researching the idea now by looking at what some other government entities with sign-making operations are already doing.
The county is also examining the idea of establishing a partnership with S.C. Vocational Rehabilitation to see if the county and it could work together to make the signs the county needs.
Council is wise to explore these two options.
When council makes a decision, we hope council members will decide on a plan that will not only get the county the new signs it needs, but also puts some local folks, either at a new county sign-making shop or at the local Vocational Rehabilitation workshop, to work.
Having the signs made here seems like a much more positive way to meet this new mandate than buying signs made somewhere else.