The electronic sign outside the Mike Daniel Recreation Center catches the eye with its announcements and advertisements.
It’s also caught the attention of the state Department of Transportation.
The county had to get a permit for the sign, which the DOT considers a billboard. The permit comes with a $300 fee.
“This came out of the blue,” said Troup County Manager Tod Tentler. “We thought we were exempt, because we’re a county organization and also a non-profit. The sign is on our property.”
The sign has been up for about a month, and was built and paid for by the Troup High School baseball booster club. The booster club also will pay the DOT fee.
Tentler said the club came to the county about a sign late last year. It wanted a way to publicize its events and events at the school, and agreed to let the county have six “spots” in the rotation to advertise recreation events. Advertising sprinkled in helps pay for the sign and fund the booster club.
“It was a win-win for us,” Tentler said. “We can advertise our programs and if we have rain outs, we can get announcements up right away.”
The sign does comply with the city of LaGrange sign ordinance, although since it’s a county sign, it’s technically exempt from city rules, Tentler said.
The DOT permit has stumped city and county officials. LaGrange City Manager Tom Hall said there are several other areas in town where signs would qualify as a “billboard” – like the electric sign in front of LaGrange High School – where no billboard fee has been charged.
A call to a DOT spokeswoman was not returned.