DeSoto County Road Manager Andy Swims told the Board of Supervisors Monday morning his department has started to have problems keeping rights of way maintained and expects more issues during the year. 
The reason: political signs are being placed in those areas prohibiting crews from mowing grass and maintaining those areas his department is responsible for.
“What I am intending to do as a policy is to inform the public that those signs are supposed to be kept outside the right of way,” Swims said. “If we do have to take those signs for any reason we will keep them at the closest road maintenance facility for them to pick up.”
The issue of signage along roadways came up during a recent meeting of superintendents, according to Swims, who added the problem comes up each election year.
“If we’re not maintaining the road, we’re not getting that involved with it unless the Board directs to try to do so,” Swims said. “If we are trying to maintain the road, then that’s when we are going to have to pull them up and when we have issues with them.”
Swims told board members the right of way is typically 15 feet from the edge of the road. County crews are responsible for mowing and maintaining those areas and Swims said signs placed inside the right of way are making it difficult to do that.
“We’re not doing anything intentionally, but we will have to take some up,” Swims told the Board. “We have to let people know that they have to honor the right of way and keep them back so we can keep the roads maintained and the grass mowed in some of those areas.”
Swims presented the item as a point of information at Monday’s meeting, so no action was needed. County Administrator Vanessa Lynchard also noted there are restrictions involving sign prohibitions, including campaign, political, yard or garage sale signs on public property, including utility poles or trees.
Information about the correct locations for political signs will be provided on the county website, http://www.desotocountyms.gov.
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer and may be reached at 662-429-6397, ext. 240.


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