ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Street signs are costing St. Louis an extra $20,000 this year.
Thieves are going after the signs for scrap metal, and the city is spending the extra cash to replace signs that have been stolen or vandalized.
The St. Louis Streets Department has had to replace nearly twice as many street signs compared to a year and a half ago.
St. Louis City Streets Department Director Todd Waelterman says with the economy already straining budgets, sign replacement is becoming a problem.
“We can’t just keep spending money after money,” he said. “A lot of people are unemployed. They’d like for me to hire another half-dozen sign guys. But I need to control costs and keep things going.”
The city says signs are being stolen from all neighborhoods and cost anywhere from $90 to $150 to replace.
The city hopes to put a stop to theft by using plastic signs.