New welcome signs coming soon

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By Derek Kim
Williamston Post staff writer

Residents may soon be greeted differently as they drive into town.

Welcome signs were an issue at the Feb. 25 city council meeting. However, it was not the first time the matter has been presented. Residents Kent and Cheryl Hall said they brought up the concern two months ago.

“The signs just look shabby and it’s the first thing you see when you come into town,” Hall said. “They are doing so many good things in town, your first impression shouldn’t be this.”

This sign, located on the south side of town across from Tractor Supply Company, is one of four signs that will be redone.

This sign, south of town across from Tractor Supply Company, is one of four that will be redone.

The signs were installed 10 years ago by the Downtown Development Authority to welcome people to the community. Michael Gradis, community development director, said maintenance was disregarded over time because money was put into more expensive projects.

Williamston has four welcome signs; on N. Putnam Road between Mitchell and Bismark St., E. Grand River Ave. pass Lure St., on N. Williamston Road north of Linn Road, and on W. Grand River Ave. between Church Hill Downs Blvd. and Winding River Dr.

Williamston has four welcome signs: North Putnam Road between Mitchell and Bismark Street, East Grand River Avenue past Lure Street, on North. Williamston Road north of Linn Road, and on West Grand River Avenue between Church Hill Downs Boulevard and Winding River Drive.

Gradis said the DDA decided to fix the signs last week. He said the marketing and branding project would reinforce the development.

“Downtown branding and marketing will create a new logo for the city,” Gradis said. “In the next year or two, the DDA will come up with a new logo that will be on our signs.”

City council member Ben Stiffler said he is excited about the new look.

“Every week we are dealing with millions of dollars and a sign is sometimes the last thing you think about,” Stiffler said.

Stiffler said that after the new design is chosen, he trusts the DDA to take care of the rest. After being reviewed by the planning commission, the project will go to the council for final approval and placement.

“If we are going to spend $5,800 on picnic tables, we should have nice welcome signs in the beautiful city we live in,” Stiffler said.

City Manager Alan Dolley said timing is a significant obstacle. Winter prevents the initiation of construction.

“All we can do for now is make plans and then we will get out there once the snow melts,” Dolley said.

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