FDOT Targets Highway 98 Signs Again; Commission Wants Compromise - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

FDOT Targets Highway 98 Signs Again; Commissioners Want Compromise

Posted: Updated:

As Walton County business signs on Highway 98 are being threatened to come down, Walton Commissioners are urging compromise.

In November, The Florida Department of Transportation meant business when they flagged the familiar road marks, requesting removal.

Now that it's December, many are still on the right of way and the FDOT is once again tagging the violators

"My immediate thought was why now," said new Walton Commissioner, Cindy Meadows,

The familiar road signs have been up over a decade in some parts of south Walton County; but, once again, the FDOT pushes for removal.

"So, are they improving the roadway? Are they adding something? What brought this about? That would be my question," said Meadows.

It was a familiar sight on Monday. Just like last month, brand new fluorescent green notices appeared, alerting businesses they have the next ten days to remove their signs.

"You know, these signs are very important for these small businesses that are down these roads. They're critical. It's kind of a bad time during the middle of a recession to be taking signs down," said Meadows.

According to FDOT's Ian Satter, they aren't being a bully; they're just following the law.

"We want to work with business owners, we want to work with people to get the signs down, so we're going to work with them as much as we can and work with them to get the signs down hopefully sooner rather than later," said Satter.

Several state ordinances outline that no signage may appear on the right of ways. Knowing these signs have been up for quite awhile, News 13 asked Satter Meadows' question; "why now?"

"Well, regardless if the signs have been there a decade or a day, the rules and state law is that signs can't be put on state right of way. These signs were just noticed at this time and we've given people ample time to remove those signs or relocate them...but unfortunately they aren't allowed on the right of way," said Satter.

According to the Walton County Planning Department, following the 10 day period, there will be a crew from maintenance removing any of the signs that remain.

Directional signs that are not located on the right of way will have a 30 day sticker placed on them.