Group seeking new signs; Phoenix Committee plans to replace street, stop guideposts downtown.

Friday, July 22, 2011

With the Fort Scott City Commission's blessing, the historic downtown district will be getting some new signs.

During Tuesday's meeting, the commission approved a change in the ordinance that dictated the way money in the Phoenix Committee fund was to be spent.

Specifically, the money was to be spent on a downtown facade grant program.

With about $26,000 sitting in the fund unused, the newly revitalized Phoenix Committee asked to use the funds to replace street signs in the downtown area.

Committee member Jim Pitts said the group originally planned to replace all signs, including parking signs, street signs, and stop signs, however, they realized that it would not be possible with the amount of funds they had available.

He said the project was scaled back to focus only on street and stop signs.

Pitts said the committee researched new federal guidelines regarding lettering, size and reflectivity of signs, as well as the minimum height off the ground, and decided that the new signs would comply with the regulations to prevent them from having to be replaced in the future.

In addition to the new signs, Pitts said the committee also contacted Transformations, a company in the Kansas City, Mo., area, for sign posts that match the style of the street light poles along downtown streets.

He said the company produces a decorative post that fits around the existing pole, thus keeping the cost down by eliminating the need to remove the old post and install a new one.

Pitts said the committee is considering purchasing a total of 29 signs.

He said the intersections with street signs on two corners will be reduced to one corner. In addition, some intersections have street and stop signs on separate poles. Where possible, those would be combined, he said.

A definite cost has not yet been set, but Pitts believes it to be about half of the committee's available funds.

He said that once the project is complete, the committee will look into purchasing "way signs" to direct tourists to attractions around town.

The committee hopes to decide on the style of street signs to purchase within the next few days and expects installation to begin in September.