ARAB, Ala. -- Someone is spray painting obscene images on stop signs in Arab and everyone in charge of keeping the city going wants it to stop. The city is offering a reward for information.
Rian Almond and Preston Hardin have been busy this week replacing stop signs. They have their normal everyday work with the Arab Street Department still, but replacing stop signs is on top of it all right now. "We work hard and we've got better things to do than replace stop signs," Almond said. They're replacing them unnecessarily.
"It's all over town," Hardin said. He's talking about the 22 stop signs someone spray painted an obscene image on. That's just in the city limits. There are more in the county. "We were bombarded all at once," Almond said.
They can't wash it off - it ruins the sign - and the image certainly can't stay. So the street department has to replace each one. Coming in at around $40 a sign, that's a lot of money the city has to pull from something else. "That's money that we could be using in a lot of other places," said Mayor Bob Joslin, "We could improve our playground area or our parks and rec programs. That's just money taken away from other things unnecessarily."
Joslin added they budget for normal wear and tear, but not for changing out more than 20 at a time like they're doing now.
Arab Police officers are keeping an eye out for the person or people responsible. The charge for destroying the signs is a misdemeanor, but Arab Police Assistant Chief Shane Washburn says at this point, they're piling up. "If you start looking at all of the stop signs that are damaged, you're going to have a count for each one of those," he explained.
The city is offering a $250 dollar reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or the people responsible. If you have information on who might be destroying the signs you can call (256) 586-8124 or email Tipline@ArabCity.org. All calls and emails are anonymous and kept strictly confidential.