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councilors agreed with his take on the signs, saying some signs should have been replaced sooner because they are outdated, falling apart, and eyesores.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