Repainted road markers
a sign of community spirit
Beatrice Schnell of Wichita drove around the Marion County Park and Lake for an hour last year, while trying to find her relatives’ residence.
“It was difficult to find anyone; the road signs were hard to see,” the 76-year-old said. “But this year, when I visited them, the signs really popped out. It made it much easier to locate them.”
Lake resident Ed Riffel noticed more than 20 signs were looking dull earlier this year, and decided to do something about it. So, armed with cans of spray paint, Riffel set out to paint the signs with only one agenda: to make the signs visible again.
“They really needed it,” he said. “Plus, it helps when people come and visit here — and it shows the pride we have in the Marion County Park and Lake.”
He took each sign down, one at a time, and brought it back to his home where he painted the signpost, its face and the letters and then put the sign back in place. Meanwhile, a few residents, like Nancy Basore, said they didn’t know what was happening.
“I didn’t know if they were going to be put back up or what,” she said. “Anything could’ve been happening to them. But I am glad to have the signs repainted. They look real nice.”
Riffel has painted 10 signs so far, and plans to do another 10 to 20 in the upcoming weeks. He said he has received quite a few compliments on the work he’s done on the signs, explaining that the majority of lake residents are happy to have signs that clearly mark the streets on each road.
“I’m going to keep on doing it,” he said. “I’m hoping that it stays looking nice as long as I’m here — that’s why I used the rustoleum spray paint on it.”
Lake Superintendent Steve Hudson said neither the county nor the lake is responsible for repainting the signs, since private residents put them up. However, he said he noticed that the signs were in poor condition and was glad when Riffel volunteered to do the work.
The only negative thing, Hudson said, was that there was no reflective paint on the signs and that it could be problematic for drivers to see the road indicators in the dark of the night.
“If anyone has a problem with it, they haven’t complained to me,” Riffel said. “I hope I don’t get in trouble. I’m retired and I was looking for something to do. I just wanted them to look nice.”
Riffel said he is looking forward to completing the task before the summer hits. In addition to painting 10 to 20 more, he is willing to touch-up additional road signs along the lake.