Fading signs could cost up to $98k

Wakefield Regional Council is “fading away”.

Up to 100 road signs are likely to be replaced in the council area because they have deteriorated.

This is on top of 25 that have already been swapped over because of the problem, particularly when the lettering is facing the sun.

The council heard at its latest meeting that it could cost $98,000 during five years to replace the signs.

Councilior Peter Bowyer raised the issue, asking whether it was known that some recently installed rural road signs had badly faded.

He asked whether the supplier of the signs had been asked to explain and possibly resolve the situation.

His question sparked a response from Mayor Rodney Reid who read his response to members.

He said Road Management Solutions (RMS) had the contract to supply and install the signs throughout the council area.

“The company decided to close its business in South Australia and withdrew to Victoria just before they completed the contract,” Mayor Reid said.

“The staff who remained in SA finished the last of the installing.

“There were a few signs that were not installed because installers were restricted by weather.

“When following-up with the company regarding correcting these few issues, council staff were told that the company had been sold and they would not do any more work.

“When staff contacted the new owners, they said they bought only the company, not its debts and unresolved issues.”

Mayor Reid said that a few years later council staff had started to see the signs fading, particularly the sides facing the sun.

The council had begun replacing signs in February.

“So far 90 signs have been installed. This includes 25 faded, 45 stolen and 18 additional installations,” he said.

“It is planned to replace another 100 faded signs in 2017-2018.

“The total number of signs installed by RMS was about 1400.

“We estimate that about a quarter have faded, although some of this depends on the orientation of the sign, although we do expect that most would deteriorate faster than usual.

“Usually signs will last 20-plus years ... we expect to get an average of roughly seven years from these signs.

“The cost of replacing the signs will be about $98,000 during five years, but they will be replaced only as necessary.

“Preliminary calculations suggest that the maximum payment that we could get from pursuing the matter through the legal process would be similar or less than the cost of replacing the signs, with no guarantee of success.”

As many as five other councils may have been affected by the sign fade-outs.