Claremore Daily Progress

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September 4, 2013

Technology will assist sign maintenance

CLAREMORE —

Rogers County Commissioners approved Monday the purchase of a Road Vista Retroreflectometer to measure reflectability of signs throughout the county.
The item, placed on the agenda by commissioner Kirt Thacker, focused on the safety issue that can come from worn out road signs.
It will cost the county about $9,750, but be used by all three districts to save money, according to Thacker.
Thacker said the equipment would save time because the device will measure the surface of the sign to insure it meets federal transportation requirements.
The measurements will include the GPS location of each sign, saving time when replacing stolen or aging signs, according the Lee Frances.
Frances manages the county sign shop and is responsible for sign repair or replacement.
The biggest advantage is scanning and being able to download the data to county maps, according to Frances.
The device will take eight measurements and is user friendly, he said.
The purchase will help limit the county’s liability if an accident occurs at an intersection where a sign has been stolen, according to Thacker.
Because the data will be recorded to the county maps, it will show where each sign is located, potentially assisting the county if an accident occurs, Thacker said.
The county has had an issue in recent years with sign theft or vandalism, according to Thacker.
However, efforts to improve theft have paid off and signs are actually aging, Thacker said. 
The aging signs can cause an issue with the effectiveness of the signs, according to Frances.
The GPS location feature will help improve sign dating and ultimately safety, Frances added.
Information Technology Director Brett Williston said the new equipment will work with the county’s computer systems.
The new device includes Bluetooth connectivity to download data easily, according to Frances.
Other equipment may be purchased to take advantage of other features included in the device.
One example provided was a barcoding device to give Frances another tool to track signs.
Commissioner Dan DeLozier asked the board to go out for bids if the equipment purchase would exceed the $10,000 limit.
The commissioners agreed, although stating they did not believe it would be an issue.
Thacker presented two pricing examples prior to approval; both items were below the $10,000 limit.

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