Drive through any major intersection in Bossier Parish and you’ll see signs posted along the rights-of-way, or on utility poles, advertising businesses, garage sales, and other events.
It’s a common practice, but it’s a violation of the a parish ordinance. Section 94-9 states “Signs within public rights-of-way and on utility poles. (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to place, or cause to be placed, any type of sign within a public right-of-way or on any utility pole in the unincorporated areas of the parish.”
Parish resident and 21-year veteran of the Bossier Sheriff’s Posse, Mel Allen, patrols parish roadways once a week.
“It’s all a matter of making the parish look better,” said Allen. “It’s important to the Sheriff and should be important to all residents of Bossier Parish. We’re starting a program to eliminate some of the clutter on the sides of the roads.”
In an effort to raise awareness of the problem, Allen, who serves as a volunteer in the Posse, will be recording the names and phone numbers from the signs and contacting those individuals or businesses to explain the parish ordinance and ask them to take the signs down. The individual will be given a week to remove the sign.
After a week, if the signs have not been removed, the individual or business will receive a second phone call, and, if need be, the Bossier Parish Highway Department will be called to come and remove the signs.
If you’re wondering what the penalty is for signs being placed on public rights-of-way and utility poles, the ordinance states in Section 94-9: (b) Any person or individual representing a company or corporation, or any person for whom a sign is placed in any public right-of-way or on any utility pole, shall be issued a citation to appear in court and, if found guilty, shall be fined $1.00 for every square inch in the surface area of the sign, but in no case, less than $50.00, nor more than $500.00.
This ordinance does not affect signs placed on private property. If a sign is placed on private property, the person must get permission from the property owner.
“Public awareness and improving the looks of the parish are the main goals,” said Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington. “There may be some folks that don’t know the parish ordinance, and this gives us an opportunity to let them know and give them a chance to comply with the ordinance.”