It's no secret that street signs in Iron Mountain can be difficult to see at night, but a new federal mandate is looking to change that.
The federal government is requiring cities nationwide to make their regulatory and street signs reflective.
The problem? Cities will receive no funding to make the changes.
"It's difficult with the budgets we're facing and also with the state's budget," said Iron Mountain City Manager Jordan Stanchina. "They cut revenue sharing and then that comes out of our pocket. Now federally there's something else we have to put aside money for, so it makes it difficult."
Most people agree that reflective street signs are indeed safer, but without help from the federal government cities like Iron Mountain are left with a hefty price tag. With more than 100 street signs in the city, costing around $40 per sign, the price tag, will be in the thousands.
The mandate is expensive, but it does serve a purpose.
"Reflective street signs can make it safer if you're in a city with a lot of side streets," said Michigan State Trooper Doug Cole. "When every second counts and you're going down the road and you're trying to find a street in the night, it's easier to find when it pops out at you."
Iron Mountain already has some reflective signs in the city, but many of those won't qualify, costing the city even more.
"Generally ones that look like they're in fairly good condition failed," Stanchina said. "Ones that you see looked like they're almost brand new failed. So we're still going through the process of understanding what's that going to mean for us."
Cities are required to make regulatory signs reflective by 2015 and street sings by 2018.
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