A state lawmaker wants to make it easier for billboard owners to make repairs.
State Representative Tony Staskunas (D-West Allis) say there’s a growing problem billboard owners face when repairs are needed, now that nearly half of the signs in the state no longer comply with state and federal regulations. Many of them are too close to roads that have expanded since they were built, but are allowed to stay in place as long as no major repairs or improvements are made to them.
As a result, the West Allis Democrat says owners are often afraid to make repairs to damaged signs, because the improvements could allow the DOT to remove them. Staskunas is sponsoring a bill that would give them time a 36 month period to fix problems, but still requires repairs to cost no more than half the value of the sign.
DOT Director of Highway Operation Dave Veith says the agency opposes the measure because it would “frusturate” their ability to effectively control billboard placement. Veith says the DOT is obligated under federal law to remove signs that violate regulations.