‘Welcome to Worthington’ to get a makeover
WORTHINGTON — The city of Worthington is moving forward with new entrance signs.
“It would be just going out and getting numbers to see if we can get a sign company or if we can get some of it locally,” Worthington City administrator Craig Clark said following a Thursday meeting of city officials and members of the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce. “I’m hoping by breaking it apart we can do it cheaper.”
The signs would be 8 feet by 16 feet and have 150 square feet of signage. There are two pillars on each side of the sign, one with the signature Worthington “W.” The Worthington script will be in blue on the front of the sign, which will be lighted.
“At this point in time, we have funding for one sign from the city,” city council member Scott Nelson said. “A second sign, we were talking about finding donors. The third sign, do we want to put one more through the city on the budget?”
“Well, we can try,” Clark answered. “It’s something we can discuss as we move forward in the budget process.”
The city will begin budget meetings on Friday.
There are currently plans to have three signs — on both entrances off Minnesota 60 and on U.S. 59 north.
“Conceivably, we’ve targeted three, but there is a fourth one,” Clark said, explaining that the group mentioned having one on Minnesota 266. “Into the future, you could always add some potentially later.”
The chamber will be looking for donations from local businesses and individuals for the sign.
“When would you see us doing them? Next spring?” Nelson asked. The group was hoping for installation to begin in early 2014.
Suzanne Murphy, owner of Worthington Excavating, offered to do some in-kind work for the foundation.
“We have plenty of extra clay fill,” Murphy said. “We have piles out at the racetrack that we would be happy to haul and donate.”
Murphy said she would be willing to get the area ready for concrete.
“I have talked to contractors about doing the concrete base,” she said. “I have not talked to any electricians or anybody to get power.”
The group is hoping for the signs to be lit. How to do that is the question.
There are two options. The first is to run power lines to the signs, but that could be costly. The other would be to use solar power.
The final cost of the sign hasn’t yet been determined, but the group is estimating about $25,000 per sign.
“Those letters aren’t going to fall off like they did the other signs, are they?” Zuby Jansen asked.
The Worthington script will all be one piece, so the individual letters won’t come off.
“This isn’t the low-cost alternative,” Clark said. “This is going to be an enduring sign.”
The taller pillar is 11 feet, 9 inches. The smaller one is 8 feet, 5 inches.
“This was as big as they allow,” Clark said.
In Windom, three new signs were approximately $65,000. That included the signs, lighting and landscaping, according to Aaron Backman, executive director of the Windom Economic Development Authority.
The signs in Windom are a little smaller than the ones Worthington is proposing. Windom’s have around 70 square feet of space on the sign.
Each sign cost approximately $19,000 each. Snick’s Signs in Jackson manufactured the signs. The solar units cost about $2,000, and Backup Power Source in Slayton sold the systems.
“We had the backlit situation, so behind each of the letters we had the LED lights and we had them underneath the capstones on each column,” Backman said.
The landscaping was finished on Aug. 2. Each of the signs was paid for through donations and from a grant.
“We did get $30,000 as a grant from the Remick Foundation,” Backman said. “Then we raised money from donations. I didn’t want this coming out of the general fund from the city. I talked to 33 businesses, they donated an additional amount. Between the businesses donating and the EDA putting in some additional money, that totaled about $34,000. All together, we didn’t have any general fund money.”