South Jax using tourism funds to construct welcome sign

By Ryne Turke on April 30, 2016 at 9:00am

potential welcome sign for South Jacksonville

The groundwork has been laid for a South Jacksonville welcome sign at the corner of South Main and Michigan Avenue.

The potential welcome sign was discussed in detail during a Planning and Public Facilities meeting Thursday night.

Trustee Paula Belobrajdic-Stewart, who has taken the lead on this project, says the village is extremely lucky to find a property like this.

“It is considered a non-buildable lot. You can’t put any structure up there. It is really useless to the person that owns it, but for the village it is perfect. We can’t build a structure there, but we can put a sign up. That way, our residents will get use to that sign being at that location and will know they can go there for sources of information,” says Belobrajdic-Stewart.    4.1

Belobrajdic-Stewart says a welcome sign will provide transparency to  South Jacksonville residents and anyone passing through the village.

“We found the traffic pattern on South Main is huge. You are going to have a four-way stop there where people will be able to see the sign when they are passing through or when they are stopped,” says Belobrajdic-Stewart.    4

Belobrajdic-Stewart says three companies are being considered for construction of the welcome sign. Trustees agreed to follow the budget of a sign purchased by First Christian Church at 2106 South Main.

An estimated cost of $60,000 for the sign, $5,000 for the land and additional attorney fees was provided by Belobrajdic-Stewart.

Belobrajdic-Stewart explains how the village will be paying for the project.

“This sign project will qualify through our tourism fund. That is a restricted fund. It has to meet qualifications to promote tourism or events in the village. An electronic, scrolling sign like this meets the qualifications,” says Belobrajdic-Stewart.

Approval of the appraisal of the land will be listed on the May 5th agenda. Belobrajdic-Stewart hopes the project can be completed before the South Jacksonville Celebration at the end of July.