Deadwood officials revisit sign ordinances

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DEADWOOD, S.D. (KEVN) - Officials in Deadwood are revisiting an ordinance about sandwich boards and mannequins in the city's historic district.

The city says they haven't really enforced certain sign ordinances in the past, but some citizens expressed tripping hazard concerns.

One city ordinance says any freestanding or unattached signs shall not be allowed unless they are placed a minimum of three feet from the public right-of-way, but many businesses on Main Street have sandwich boards directly on the public right-of-way such as the sidewalk.

Leland Hollis is the general manager of several businesses in downtown Deadwood including the Eagle Bar, the Nugget Saloon, and the Deadwood Winery.

All of his stores have a sandwich board outside the door, and he believes every business would suffer if the city enforced the ordinance.

Leland Hollis says, "It can be the difference between a sale and a no sale. We all know what Deadwood's like. We need every tourist that we can get to come in our building along with our local people. Our locals need to know what we have to offer. If we're going to have a special tonight for a steak sandwich, we'd love to let people know. If we were a big chain restaurant on the interstate, we'd have a great big marquee sign sitting outside that we would change the letters on. This is really all we have."

Some Deadwood city officials either declined an interview or were not available.