It's a sign of the times.
A large new sign at the entrance to the West Industrial Park in Blue Earth was dedicated last Thursday, complete with a ribbon cutting ceremony and several speakers.
"We have been working on this project for quite a while," says Linsey Warmka of the Faribault County Development Corporation. "At least the past six months."
The new sign put out in front of the West Industrial Park was made official with a ribbon cutting ceremony held last Thursday. Left to right: Executive director Cindy Lyons, city administrator Kathy Bailey, Terry Ankeny, Brooke Prestegard, Mark Nordquist, development corporation administrator Linsey Warmka, Mayor Rick Scholtes, Arron Kalis, Aaron Wangen and Barb Ziegler.
Warmka says the idea for the sign came out of one of the county-wide manufacturers meetings held about a year ago.
"We have these get-togethers for manufacturers in the county, where they can discuss common issues and problems," Warmka says. "The manufacturers in Blue Earth said one of their problems was proper signage."
Several of the companies located in the West Industrial Park related how customers and suppliers could not find their site. At the time there were not enough signs directing them to the industrial park, located on the far west side of town.
"And with Highway 169 torn up last summer, it really was an issue," Warmka adds. "With detours in place, they (manufacturing plants in the park) were hard to find."
"This new sign was one of the results of that meeting," Warmka says. "Now all of the businesses in the park are listed on the sign."
The city of Blue Earth and the Blue Earth Economic Development Authority (EDA) wanted make the new sign very nice, Warmka explains.
"We wanted it to be very attractive and also have all the names of the businesses located in the industrial park listed," she says. "Of course, we also want to have signs on Highway 169 pointing out the direction to the industrial park, as well."
Warmka adds one of the reasons the city and EDA wanted the sign to be very nice is they plan to do some more of them.
"We will, of course, have a matching sign at the entrance to our new North Industrial Park when that project is completed," Warmka says. "But, that is not all. We also hope to have some new 'Blue Earth' signs at the entrances to the city which will also be in this same style."
The sign was commissioned by the EDA and was constructed by Precision Signs of Austin. Funding came from the EDA, BEISCO (Blue Earth Industrial Service Company), the Blue Earth Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The businesses in the park each paid for their own signs which fit into slots on the large sign. These are interchangeable so they can be removed and replaced if that need ever arises.
"We are very excited to have finally finished this project," Warmka says. "It turned out pretty cool."
There were a few bumps in the road, however. The EDA had hoped to have the sign in place some time ago, but encountered several problems.
The first sign was damaged when it was being loaded into a semi-truck by a forklift. A new one had to be built and arrived in January. By then the ground had became so frozen that the city had to wait for spring before it could actually be installed.
But, now the sign is in place and properly dedicated, ready to direct people to the businesses located in the industrial park.