Twenty-four municipalities whose signs were made by a provincial shop were told suddenly by New Brunswick's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure that they were on their own.

The letters went out in late April, just days before construction season began.

That left the municipalities scrambling.

The City of Fredericton, which relied entirely on the province's sign shop, has asked the province to delay implementation.

Mike Baldwin

Mike Baldwin, City of Fredericton spokesman, says advance notice that the province was pulling its sign service would have been helpful. (CBC)

"Being a long-term customer, and approaching the busy season, certainly advanced notice would have been helpful," said Michael Baldwin, spokesman for the city.

"In terms of if there is any leeway for them to change their decision, we have not heard anything about it."

Fredericton spends around $45,000 dollars on signs every year.

It could cost three times that much that to have the signs done privately.

Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claude Williams declined an interview, but said in an email, "this is not a cost-cutting measure" and the department wants to "focus on our own government signage."

Williams also said the move will be an "opportunity for the private sector."

Both Moncton and Saint John say they use the private sector for their signs. The work goes to Ontario, Quebec, P.E.I., and Nova Scotia.