The Brookings City Council decided Monday afternoon to more vigorously enforce an ordinance that bans signs - garage sales, lost pets, upcoming events and others - taped to light poles throughout town.

The tape used to hold them down - often duct tape, to combat high winds - leaves behind a sticky residue, and in some cases, wire chips paint from the poles.

"This weekend alone, signs were staked up in the park, there were garage sale signs, tarp and tool signs, art festival signs - including one that covered an entire park bench," said City Manager Gary Milliman. "There was quite a proliferation of signs on public property. There was even signs on - ON - stop signs."

The Brookings Municipal Code prohibits signs from being attached to almost anything - including utility poles, light poles, public structures, trees, fire hydrants, bridges, curbs and - on public property.

The maximum penalty that could be assessed is $750, but the actual fine is determined by a judge.

"Taping or wiring signs to the green light poles downtown can damage the poles, and we are currently obtaining estimates for repainting several of the poles that have damaged paint or layers of residual adhesive tape," Milliman said.

Brookings police won't have far to look on Saturday mornings to find out who taped garage sale signs to the posts.

Beginning next week city staff will collect such signs found along Chetco Avenue attached to poles, trees, street furniture, or those located in Bankus Park on Highway 101 between Ross Road and Ray's Market driveway and try to identify the owner. They will then be advised of the ordinance.

"We recognize that garage and yard sales are a popular activity in our community," Milliman said. "We encourage residents to find other ways to advertise their sales, including advertising in the local newspaper, or arranging with private property owners to allow posting of signs."

But, council noted, at this point, it's more important to remind people of the ordinance, rather than hunt down garage salers and anxious owners of missing pets. Milliman added that the "Tool and Tarp Sale" sign seen posted on a sandwich board all summer is on private property and legal.

Others wishing to post their signs can do so on private property with permission from the owner, Milliman said.