The is getting a new electric sign to replace the old, non-electric one there now, and it's going to put a nail in the coffin of the lucrative, high-priced occupation of sign-letter-changing.
The board approved spending $26,350 for a light-emitting diode sign during its meeting Tuesday, and Public Works Superintendent Roger Barrowman made the case that the new sign will actually end up saving Shorewood lots of money in the long run.
"The new reader board sign will also save money and manpower because we will be able to change the sign electronically from the village hall," Barrowman said in a memo to the mayor and village trustees.
"We change the sign an average of 65-75 times a year," Barrowman explained in his memo. "If you figure that it usually takes an hour to change the letters on the sign which is time away from other duties — that is worth $100 x 75 times a year = $7,500 in savings."
Wow — $7,500 in savings! Every year! Sign us up for the new sign! Wait, what?
Apparently, Village of Shorewood sign-changers (is that a job?) are getting paid $100 an hour when they are changing signs. Which not only sounds like an awful lot of money for something that doesn't seem particularly challenging, but also takes away from their "other duties."
Not to mention, what is so important that the village has to pay some guy $100 an hour to put it up on a sign outside the police station in the first place?
Well, we have a picture from a while back that has the sign saying something about the village's holiday food drive. And village trustees were provided with a photo of the sign giving the date, time and place for Troy baseball registration. To be fair, it's hard to put a price on that kind of information.
Now, we're not saying a holiday food drive or a youth baseball registration are unimportant or anything, but $100 an hour to put something about it up on a sign? Really? What are they paying the guy who changes the sign at the ? Do these sign-changers have a union?
We don't know. But we do know one thing — it's about time the town fathers went out and got this new electric sign to cut down on the $7,500 in sign-changing the village was spending every year. We just wish we knew about the job before they decided to get rid of it.