September 27, 2017

Washburn sign embattled in permit issue

BY ALYSSA MEIER
Editor
As it stands currently, the digital communication sign in Washburn can legally only advertise school events, according to a letter from the Department of Transportation.
A document from the DOT, dated Sept. 14, states that the electronic sign on the corner of 7th Street and Border Lane is currently not compliant with state laws, as it is advertising for off-site entities without a permit.
“We got a letter from the DOT, that said that the sign wasn’t permitted and needs to go through a permitting process,” Washburn Public School Superintendent Brad Rinas said.
 The DOT letter states that all signs within sight of a state-controlled route, like U.S. Highway 83, are subject to state regulation. The letter states that the unpermitted signs, such as the one in Washburn, are legally only allowed to advertise for events corresponding with the entity which owns the land the sign is located on.
“As long as the sign is located on Washburn school property and is used exclusively to promote school activities, no state permit is required,” The letter states. “A state permit is required, however, before the sign may be used to promote goods, services, or display the names of businesses, sponsors, etc.”
The DOT letter states that the sign would be considered a directional/informational sign, which can legally advertise off-site events without a permit, but that the sign is too large to be eligible for this category.


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