Local government officials say nothing frustrates them more than unfunded mandates from the federal government.

Local government officials say nothing frustrates them more than unfunded mandates from the federal government.

One such mandate is the new reflectivity standards for traffic and street signs.

The standards take effect in 2015 for traffic signs and in 2018 for street-naming signs, area officials have said.

City of Powell

Powell City Council's operations committee discussed the city's approach to meeting the standards June 21.

City manager Steve Lutz in April said the city put some "stop" and "yield" sign decals on existing signs to meet the new standards established by the Federal Highway Administration in 2008.

To avoid buying new traffic signs, the city's public service department is testing how easily the decals can be put on and how well they weather.

Public service director Jeff Snyder has said the cost of decals, which is less than that of new signs, would vary, depending on the type of signs. A new 30-inch stop sign costs about $60 and the decal is $24. Decals cost less if bought in quantity, he said.

Lutz said applying the decals is easier than had been anticipated.

The city is taking an inventory of the signs it would need to change to meet the standards.

Liberty Township

Liberty Township began changing signs last year, said Randy Leib of the township's road department.

"By the end of this year, we should have all of our through streets meeting the standard, (and) next year we will begin working in the subdivisions," Leib said. "We are using a blanket replacement method, meaning we replace every sign on the road we are working on. The old signs that are still in acceptable condition are re-used as temporary replacements when other signs are damaged. Signs that are removed and (that are) in unacceptable condition are recycled."

Liberty has used the opportunity to begin a sign inventory system, Leib said.

"As each new sign is put up, it is labeled with a numbered inventory sticker and logged so we can keep track of each sign's location and age," Leib said. "All new signs are printed on high-intensity prismatic sheeting and are expected to meet reflectivity standards for 10 years."

Leib said the township has budgeted $7,500 per year for the program.

Orange Township

Orange Township plans to use sign decals to meet the new standard, said Beth Hugh, township maintenance and parks director.

The township is taking an inventory of the signs and will determine the costs, she said.

"We are working on the replacement schedule and will phase the replacements with the main roads first (before) moving into the neighborhoods," Hugh said.