Jeff council approves wayfinding signs

The Jefferson city council approved a compromise on the working on wayfinding signage that will be installed in the early summer. Signs intended to direct visitors will point toward the “downtown square,” not the “bell tower square” as was first suggested by the city, nor “courthouse square” as was proposed by the county supervisors.

The council decided March 27 not to list privately-owned businesses on the signs when they’re ordered. Wild Rose Casino will not be named.

The city council at its March 27 approved the verbiage and the purchase of the signposts and bases needed for the 14 signs. The actual signs will not be ordered until after the final verbiage is submitted and a cost is provided.

There was discussion late last year after the supervisors were given a copy of the entire plan for wayfinding and directional signs. Jefferson Matters: Main Street spearheaded the planning project. The $10,000 plan was funded by a $5,000 Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant and $5,000 from the city’s hotel/motel tax fund.

After a series of meetings that included stakeholders from many groups, the plan suggested “bell tower square.” Proponents of that wording said the Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower is the biggest draw to the downtown area and the destination of many visitors.

The supervisors argued that the courthouse pre-dates the bell tower and is important to the entire county, not just to Jefferson.

In another change from the proposal, the city council agreed by consensus not to include privately-owned businesses on the wayfinding signs. Wild Rose Casino, Deal’s Orchard, and RVP~1875 will not be listed on the signs, which will be paid for with public funds. All other destinations are publicly owned, such as the library, Freedom Rock, the schools, and the municipal golf course.

Cost of implementing the entire signage project is $140,000.

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