Title 23

SECTION 750.305

750.305 Federal participation.

§ 750.305 Federal participation.

(a) Federal funds may participate in:

(1) Payments made to a sign owner for his right, title and interest in a sign, and where applicable, his leasehold value in a sign site, and to a site owner for his right and interest in a site, which is his right to erect and maintain the existing nonconforming sign on such site.

(2) The cost of relocating a sign to the extent of the cost to acquire the sign, less salvage value if any.

(3) A duplicate payment for the site owner's interest of $2,500 or less because of a bona fide error in ownership, provided the State has followed its title search procedures as set forth in its policy and procedure submission.

(4) The cost of removal of signs, partially completed sign structures, supporting poles, abandoned signs and those which are illegal under State law within the controlled areas, provided such costs are incurred in accordance with State law. Removal may be by State personnel on a force account basis or by contract. Documentation for Federal participation in such removal projects should be in accord with the State's normal force account and contractual reimbursement procedures. The State should maintain a record of the number of signs removed. These data should be retained in project records and reported on the periodic report required under § 750.308 of this regulation.

(5) Signs materially damaged by vandals. Federal funds shall be limited to the Federal pro-rata share of the fair market value of the sign immediately before the vandalism occurred minus the estimated cost of repairing and reerecting the sign. If the State chooses, it may use its FHWA approved nominal value plan procedure to acquire these signs.

(6) The cost of acquiring and removing completed sign structures which have been blank or painted out beyond the period of time established by the State for normal maintenance and change of message, provided the sign owner can establish that his nonconforming use was not abandoned or discontinued, and provided such costs are incurred in accordance with State law, or regulation. The evidence considered by the State as acceptable for establishing or showing that the nonconforming use has not been abandoned or voluntarily discontinued shall be set forth in the State's policy and procedures.

(7) In the event a sign was omitted in the 1966 inventory, and the State supports a determination that the sign was in existence prior to October 22, 1965, the costs are eligible for Federal participation.

(b) Federal funds may not participate in:

(1) Cost of title certificates, title insurance, title opinion or similar evidence or proof of title in connection with the acquisition of a landowner's right to erect and maintain a sign or signs when the amount of payment to the landowner for his interest is $2,500 or less, unless required by State law. However, Federal funds may participate in the costs of securing some lesser evidence or proof of title such as searches and investigations by State highway department personnel to the extent necessary to determine ownership, affidavit of ownership by the owner, bill of sale, etc. The State's procedure for determining evidence of title should be set forth in the State's policy and procedure submission.

(2) Payments to a sign owner where the sign was erected without permission of the property owner unless the sign owner can establish his legal right to erect and maintain the sign. However, such signs may be removed by State personnel on a force account basis or by contract with Federal participation except where the sign owner reimburses the State for removal.

(3) Acquisition costs paid for abandoned or illegal signs, potential sign sites, or signs which were built during a period of time which makes them ineligible for compensation under 23 U.S.C. 131, or for rights in sites on which signs have been abandoned or illegally erected by a sign owner.

(4) The acquisition cost of supporting poles or partially completed sign structures in nonconforming areas which do not have advertising or informative content thereon unless the owner can show to the State's satisfaction he has not abandoned the structure. When the State has determined the sign structure has not been abandoned, Federal funds will participate in the acquisition of the structure, provided the cost are incurred in accordance with State law.