To avoid buying new traffic signs, the Powell public service department will test putting decals on existing signs to meet new reflectivity standards established by the Federal Highway Administration in 2008.

To avoid buying new traffic signs, the Powell public service department will test putting decals on existing signs to meet new reflectivity standards established by the Federal Highway Administration in 2008.

By 2015, all traffic signs must meet the new standards and by 2018 street-naming signs must meet them as well, Powell director of public service Jeff Snyder said at a city operations committee meeting Aug. 17.

Snyder said replacing the decals rather than the entire sign could save the city half the cost of meeting the new standards.

The decal costs would vary on the type of sign, Snyder said, noting that a new 30-inch stop sign costs about $60 and the decal is $24. The individual decal price would be decreased by buying in quantity, he said.

Snyder recommended testing the decals on a few signs. He said city crews don't have experience with replacing the decals. Manufacturers said "the tricky part is putting them on right" and once a corner of the decal is placed, it won't come back up. He also said he wasn't sure of the decals' durability.

"Our guys are going to go through some of these so we don't have crooked yield and stop signs," Snyder said. "We thought we would test these out. I don't have any idea how long they're going to last in the field. If we put a dozen or half dozen of them through a winter, we'll see how they hold up."

All local governments must have a plan in place by 2012 to meet the new sign reflectivity requirements.

In other business, the committee discussed looking at the city's community survey results broken down by voting precincts and quadrants of the city, to see the priorities of each area.

The city hired Saperstein Associates Inc. to survey residents. The firm conducted the telephone survey of 400 randomly selected registered Powell voters in June. The same firm performed a similar survey in 2008.

"The last time we went through the survey, we had the information by precincts and by quadrants and spent time looking to see if there were any variations in responses, depending on what area of the community you lived in," committee and city council member Tom Counts said.

Counts said, for instance, respondents who live closer to the downtown area see traffic congestion as a bigger concern and those living in newer developments see the need for pedestrian and bicycle paths as a bigger concern.

Counts said the committee should look at what it can do to address the highest priorities of those surveyed: increasing the involvement of Powell's young people in community activities, organizing more community events and creating more public gathering spots for local residents.