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Campaign signs are not allowed on Thermal Belt Rail Trail

SPINDALE — With campaign season here, and the 2024 Primary Election set for March 5, political signs are popping up all across Rutherford County.

For candidates and their supporters, political signs are one way to raise awareness of a candidate’s name. They hope this will translate into votes. For others, the proliferation of political signs is simply an eyesore, and something that detracts from the beauty of the natural landscape.

Mayor Mickey Bland, during the Spindale Town Council meeting Tuesday evening, reminded the public that signs of any type, including political signs, are not allowed anywhere along the Thermal Belt Rail Trail.

The trail, which runs just over 13.5 miles from the Gilkey community, through the towns of Ruth, Rutherfordton, Spindale and Forest City, is managed by the Rail Trail Partners. The Rail Trail Partners adopted a uniform set of rules, which strictly forbids any sign along the trail.

The Thermal Belt Rail Trail runs through the heart of downtown Spindale. “The rules regarding signs apply throughout the entire trail,” Bland said. “This is not aimed at any particular candidate, or any political party. No political signs are allowed along the Rail Trail.”

Bland said that last week, several political signs were removed from the Spindale portion of the Rail Trail. Political signs were also removed that had been placed within some planters along Main Street in Spindale.

Each of the towns in Rutherford County have specific rules governing the placement of political signs. These rules are similar, and are listed on the Rutherford County Board of Elections website.

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