Cham­ber’s scaled down gate­way sig­nage pro­posal up for re­view

New sig­nage less costly,

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By KEVIN MYRICK Ed­i­tor

Once upon a time, the Polk County Cham­ber of Com­merce had a grand plan for gate­way sig­nage com­ing into the county.

The fairy­tale ended for the time be­ing last week as Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Ta­maka Hud­son be­gan show­ing off a new plan for re­plac­ing out­dated sig­nage at the county line along ma­jor routes, and for much less than it would have cost for the big­ger plans pre- vi­ously put be­fore city and county of­fi­cials.

“This has been a la­bor of love that has de­liv­ered no baby,” Hud­son said.

In­stead of the green signs that cur­rently greet driv­ers com­ing into the county at the line which dawn the tagline “Where Folks are Friendly,” a smaller sign with a sim­ple “Welcome” in beige will be its re­place­ment.

Hud­son said that the orig­i­nal plan for larger gate­way signs at seven dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions into the county ran into two main prob­lems.

First, the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion wouldn’t grant the needed space of a 75-square foot tract needed to place the signs. Then when prop­erty own­ers were sought out for po­ten­tial do­na­tions, Hud­son said the Cham­ber got no head­way.

“I think ev­ery­one wants to see some­thing hap­pen on this, and this is some­thing that we hope will be ac­cept­able to ev­ery­one,” she said.

Larger signs than those pre­sented in the new plan were sought, but Hud­son said DOT rules re­quired the signs to be the size they are, and stand on break­away poles.

If the county and cities all give their bless­ing, the sig­nage could be made and re­placed by one con­trac­tor – with three more added on for good mea­sure – with money al­ready set aside for the project from the tourism com­mit­tee from sev­eral years prior and much more left­over when the work is done, Hud­son said.

“This plan will get us mov­ing in­stead of stand­ing still, and will cost us nom­i­nally com­pared to the cost of one of the orig­i­nal gate­way signs alone,” she said.

Pro­posed new sig­nage to re­place the cur­rent green road signs (left) are scaled down from a pre­vi­ous idea whereby the en­trances to the county would have larger brick gate­ways into Polk.

Cur­rent sign

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