Painted concrete road sign

Dennis Grippando painted the street post outside of his home.

Dennis Grippando is used to mowing and picking up trash from the corner of his street, but on a recent weekend his clean-up efforts got more creative.

He repainted the concrete street marker outside of his home.

“I spent about two and a half hours on the letters. And then the pole wasn’t that long, a couple coats of paint on that and it took two and a half hours sitting on the ground with a bitty fine paint brush and did the lettering. Other than that, I just did it to make it look good, make the corner look decent,” Grippando said.

He said people couldn’t read the sign before the new paint, which he noticed is not unusual for many other similar markers.

“I rode around and looked at some of them and there’s a lot you can’t read. There’s a few you can but there’s a lot of them that don’t even have the 100 block on them, so if you’re not from the area you wouldn’t know where you were at,” Grippando said.

He ran into an issue while painting, so he had to check in with the city’s street maintenance department.

“The police department told me not to do it, that it’s (street maintenance’s) job, so I called them and they said ‘Yeah it’s fine,’ so I continued on with it,” Grippando said.

Kevin Schneider with St. Joseph Street Maintenance, said it’s fine for residents to take it upon themselves to fix concrete street signs, but he asks they call city staff first. The city will provide paint and stencils if needed.

“There was a lot of positive response to it, I had a lot of people drive by and say it looked good,” Grippando said. “Just thought it would clean up the corner a little bit.”

A Facebook post brought offers to pay him to paint similar signs in other neighborhoods. Only a few critics commented that the lettering was too fancy.

“It makes it stand out,” Grippando said. “It’s different than what the other ones are, but I’d do another one if it’s out there.”

Grippando said he would paint other posts for free if people asked him to.

Morgan Riddell can be reached at