A faded sign near the Douglas County Library building welcomes visitors to downtown Roseburg on Tuesday.

Citing fading signage that is in rough shape and inconsistent, the city of Roseburg will hire a consultant to advise it on wayfinding signs to promote the city’s identity.

The Roseburg City Council approved spending $20,000 in tourism funds to hire a consultant for a city project to put up wayfinding signs that point to various features in the community. The idea is to figure out how to make signs consistent and more attractive.

“We’ve got some good signs in town, but there isn’t a uniformity to them, and some of them are in rough shape,” Community Development Director Stuart Cowie told council members Monday.

The money would be spent to move forward with a wayfinding sign project, and determine the size and scope of each sign, a common theme, and architectural features and cost estimates.

The signs would promote Roseburg’s identity through a common architectural theme or feature for each sign. The theme would be easily recognized when entering town through “Welcome to Roseburg” monuments and will continue through town as visitors search for key places and attractions.

Wayfinding signs, including new “Welcome to Roseburg” signs, have been a city goal for a couple of years, and some city councilors were very supportive of the spending.

“I support it 100 percent,” Councilor John McDonald said.

McDonald said the city has been talking about a boutique hotel. But if it was built, visitors would not see a consistent theme to the signs.

McDonald also noted that some of the signs are “dilapidated.”

A number of other councilors agreed with his take on the signs, saying some signs should have been replaced sooner because they are outdated, falling apart, and eyesores.

“I wish we could have started it sooner,” Councilor Ashley Hicks said of the project.

The “Welcome to Roseburg” signs were noted as signs that need replacing, though Mayor Larry Rich said they were a service club project, and the city should talk about how to maintain them.

Not every councilor was in favor of the spending, which was approved by the city’s Economic Development Commission last year. Council President Tom Ryan voted to oppose the spending. He said there is no reason to spend the $20,000 because the city could do the work itself without hiring a consultant.

“There is no reason to spend $20,000. We know where the library is,” Ryan said, referencing a video presentation at the meeting that highlighted other cities’ wayfinding signs that pointed to places like libraries and recreation areas.

The city already has some wayfinding signs. Kiosks in the downtown area point to local businesses, events and attractions. And some signs, like the arches in the entrance to downtown, would never be replaced.

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City Government and Business reporter

John Dickey is a city government and business reporter for The News-Review.

(5) comments


Themed signs? A $20,000 consultant? How about a "task force?" The city decries the loss of ONC money and how it has little to work with. County commissioners seem to always be complaining about lack of funds. Make this a community project. How many stores in town sell paint? They can donate. Roseburg called itself the timber capital of the world. I'm sure that one of the local mills could provide assistance with materials as part of a worthwhile civic project. This isn't rocket science. And in case none of this grabs you CITY HALL, how about taking that $20,000 and purchase bus tickets to Stockton California for as many transients and homeless people now residing downtown. This is what keeps people from downtown, not faded signage.


The sign in front of the library just needs to be cleaned and repainted, it's a beautiful sign and should be kept. They don't need to spend all that money for a sign consultant, let the UCC students design, repair, or replace what needs to be done - keep the money local.
Use the rest of it to clean downtown, pressure washing the sidewalks is a great idea. Invest in hiring the homeless for daytime help cleaning, and not only is town nicer, some of them can afford to possibly get off living on the streets. https://www.denverpost.com/2018/01/16/denver-day-works-program-homeless-jobs/

Willie Stroker

The fact that Roseburg is paying someone $20,000 to tell them their signs are crappy is the exact reason why this town has no money! Instead of spending $20,000 on a consultant why don't you spend $5,000 to buy enough wood to redo all the signs? I'm sure a wood working class at RHS or UCC could recreate the signs. The buildings need repainted, the streets need paved, and the sidewalks need pressure washed. Nothing else is gonna make downtown look better. It's like the $3,000,000 they spent on the streetscaping in downtown. It doesn't make it look better especially not for the money that was spent on it! Waste of taxpayer funds. They want to tax homeowners to pay to repave the town. How are they suppose to do that? They can't even fix the sidewalks to comply with ADA. Yet they think they can fix the streets for the whole town.

st paddy

could have been a great project for the hi school


Yes pretty signs will improve the area and draw more visitors. More talk of a ritzy hotel in the urine district. Why not improve things like lighting, fill pot holes, pick up trash littering the roadways, or doing something with the parking structure that has become a hotel for the homeless? We want citizens and visitors alike to feel safe enough to walk the streets at night. Pretty signs and flower baskets don't fix what is broken.

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