County looks to clean up political signs from Interstate 65

Published 4:51 pm Friday, August 29, 2014

The Chilton County Commission voted on Aug. 25 to give the county engineer permission to contact ALDOT regarding the removal of political campaign signs on Interstate 65 rights-of-way.

Chilton County Engineer Tony Wearren told commissioners he received a call regarding the large number of political signs nailed on trees along I-65 in Chilton County.

Wearren said he only noticed one sign located on the side of I-65 northbound from Mobile to Chilton County.

“Once I entered Chilton County, I noticed 31,” Wearren said.

According to Alabama Code 23-1-6, signs, markers and advertising on the rights-of-way of state controlled highways are prohibited excepted those officials’ signs or markers placed thereon by the State Department of Transportation or under its authority.”

Many of the signs are nailed to trees located along I-65 outside of the rights-of-way, but still in areas controlled by ALDOT, according to Wearren.

Wearren said on Friday he contacted a representative with ALDOT to request permission to take members of the road department and remove many of the signs, but is waiting to receive permission.

Although the General Election on Nov. 4 has many local and state politicians placing political signs in places throughout the county and I-65, Wearren said many of the signs he saw were from political races spanning several years back.

“A lot of these signs are not current campaigns,” Wearren said. “It appears a lot of them are from political races that happened many years ago. It just makes our county look very cluttered.”

The county and most municipalities in Chilton County do not have ordinances stating the amount of time a candidate has to remove signs after an election.

“We tend to have a lot of signs that just stay in places after elections, and it doesn’t look very good,” Wearren said. “I have also noticed that when you drive to Shelby County, there are no political signs cluttering I-65. With so many people traveling during this time of year on I-65 through Chilton County, it doesn’t look appealing for our county.”

Although Wearren said it is unclear why Chilton County has problems with the signs being removed compared to other counties, many of the signs left by politicians are not local candidates.

“I think sometimes politicians who do not live in Chilton County just forget they have signs up,” Wearren said. “We just need to get them removed, because it makes the county look very cluttered.”