Five of the newly erected welcome signs located in various places throughout Edgefield County and 3 SC Department of Transportation signs were found to have been vandalized with graffiti last week. The first notification of the vandalism was received Wednesday, Nov. 25, and the latest was received Sunday, Nov. 29. The welcome/entrance signs that were damaged are located on Hwy 25 South, Bettis Academy Road, Hwy 19, Hwy 121 at the Saluda County line, and Hwy 23 toward Ridge Spring. The damaged DOT signs are located on Hwy 25 South, Hwy 283, and Hwy 23.
According to Edgefield County Administrator Tommy Paradise, the sign installer of the County’s entrance signs advised that the graffiti cannot be removed with solvents as they will damage a major portion of the signs; thus paint remover and pressure washing the signs to remove the graffiti is not an option. The metal portions of the signs have been removed and repairs to the signs are slated to begin Wednesday of this week, weather permitting. Paradise cautioned that it could take several days to complete the project due to the signs being spread throughout the county.
Edgefield County is issuing a $500 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person/persons involved in vandalizing and damaging the Edgefield County welcome signs. Anyone with knowledge of this crime can contact the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office at 803-637-5337 to give information for possible collection of the reward money.
According to Paradise, the total cost the County spent to erect the damaged signs was $25,000. However, he advised that, that is not the cost to repair the signs. That amount will not be known until the repair work has been completed.
SCDOT informed the Advertiser in an interview Monday, Nov. 30, that they are still trying to assess the costs of damages to their signs. However, they did confirm that they plan to simply replace the damaged signs.
The Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office was notified of the vandalisms and is investigating the matter.