Clay County Emergency Management Director Bryan Husband recently told The Brazil Times the county is in the process of acquiring two message boards, which may be utilized to warn drivers of slow traffic or other situations happening on roadways.
"We received the message boards from the Vermillion County Emergency Management Office last week," Husband said. "They are free to the county, and all we have to do is take care of the upkeep and maintenance."
Husband added other counties, including Vigo, are receiving message boards from Vermillion County as well.
"Vermillion had about 10 of these signs, many of which were not being used on a regular basis, and they were not able to afford the upkeep costs after the feds cut funding," he said. "Even though we are being allowed to use the boards, they can be transferred to any county within District 7 of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security during emergency situations."
All that remains to complete the transfer of the boards to Clay County is the formal agreement with Vermillion County, along with a memorandum of understanding with all emergency response agencies within the county, including the City of Brazil.
"This is a benefit to the county because all agencies will be able to utilize them when needed," Husband said.
He added the signs could be used in a variety of ways, including notifying motorists or road closures and detours to letting drivers know about slick roadways.
"They can also be used to let people know there may be slowed traffic ahead because of various events like a fish fry or the Covered Bridge Festival," Husband said. "We can even use them to direct traffic a certain way to create better flow, like for those leaving Forest Park after the fireworks on the Fourth of July."
The signs, which are powered by solar-charged batteries, can run up to three pages of information at any time.
"The boards can run pretty much all the time off of solar power," Husband said. "Also, we can input three pages worth of directions or traffic information that rotates through. For example, one page may say 'Road closed ahead,' followed by 'Use alternate routes' or specific detour directions."