Bowie Sign Battle

Bowie Sign Battle

     As you're driving down the road, you have probably noticed a number of street signs, some notifying drivers that a disabled child lives in the area. It's that type of sign that one Bowie resident is trying to get put up in front of her home.

However, the mother of a deaf child said the price the signs will cost her is more than she can afford.

 “I had contacted the city about getting a ‘deaf child at play’ sign and he said that we would have to buy the signs,” said Tammy Fugate, a Bowie resident.

Fugate's son, Zane is 4-years-old years and deaf. Fugate said, as he gets bigger, it's harder to keep him inside her house when he wants to play outside.

 “No child should have to be unprotected just  because his parents can't afford to pay for signs,” said Connie Scrogum, family of Tammy Fugate.

Many surrounding cities, like Wichita Falls, supply the signs free of charge. It’s something Fugate had hoped the city of Bowie would do for her.

 “Every block would be wanting these signs if you just had it where we paid for everything,” said Ricky Tow, Bowie City Manager.

Tow said having requester pay for the signs is standard for Bowie. Although the city won't pay for the signs themselves, they will install them. However, that means very little for Fugate when local sign shops estimate the cost at $200 a piece. Fugate would need two signs, according to Tow.

An additional sign making business quoted the price a little lower. Sa-so estimated the price around $70 a piece.

“There’s other organizations and stuff that can help out with that need,” said Tow.

Until a resolution is reached, Fugate said everyday is a concern.

“Every day that there’s not a sign up is a day that could potentially be the day that he gets in the street and someone doesn't see him,” said Scrogum.

“It's just that people drive up and down really fast,” said Fugate. “I just want to make sure that my son is safe.”

 Fugate lives on Mills Street in Bowie. That's also the same street as Bowie High School, NCTC, and the baseball complex. Right now, city officials said Bowie High School does not have a school zone. Tow said the city is working with the school to get that type of thing set up.

If a school zone is established, it would force drivers in the area to reduce their speeds, something that would help the Fugate's situation, according to Tow.

The Fugate's have also tried to put up a fence in their front yard, but says the land would need to be re-surveyed in order to do so. An additional cost Fugate said she can't front.

If you would like to help, you can contact the family through the Facebook page they have set up for Zane. 

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