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THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2007
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Utility pole at Lee Street and Sixth Avenue in Northeast Decatur is covered with advertising signs.
Daily photo by Emily Saunders
Utility pole at Lee Street and Sixth Avenue in Northeast Decatur is covered with advertising signs.

Hiding in plain sight

Location: Sixth Avenue Southeast/Northeast.

Description: Lynn Derrick of Decatur called to complain about temporary signs on utility poles, especially along Sixth Avenue.

Property owner: Decatur Utilities owns the poles. Teara Fields said her father owns TB Tours. She said they were not aware that it was illegal to put signs on utility poles. "They cost thousands of dollars," she said. "I hope the city don't throw them away." Fields said Huntsville took down their signs in Huntsville and mailed them back. "This is a shock to us that the signs are illegal." Larry Lingerfelt said he is the director of the alarm monitoring company. He said there are "tons" of signs on utility poles in Decatur and that he didn't know they were illegal. Lingerfelt said sales representatives for the company probably placed the signs. "I don't want to break any laws," he said. "I don't know where the signs are in Decatur, or I would take them down myself." Lingerfelt said a man from Decatur called and said he was removing the signs. "That was about two months ago, and we haven't put up another sign."

Ordinance: No person shall place or erect a temporary sign within any street right of way, or attach it to any utility pole; nor shall any person place or erect any such sign upon a building, wall, tree, fence, or other property of another person or business without first obtaining the consent of the owner of such property.

Responsible officials: Decatur Utilities has poles in every council district in the city. DU General Manager Stan Keenum said the utility prohibits the signs for safety reasons. He said DU does not have a department that rides around looking for the signs. But, when DU receives a complaint, it tries to identify who placed the sign and asks them to remove it, Keenum said.

Let us know: If you're tired of seeing a dilapidated building, litter, a drainage problem or an eyesore in your neighborhood, contact The Daily newsroom at 340-2433 or news@decaturdaily.com.

- DeAngelo McDaniel

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