A welcome sign [UPDATED]Published 7:40am Tuesday, June 19, 2012 Updated 11:44am Tuesday, June 19, 2012
After four years of work put forth by the community, Elbow Lake now has three new “welcome to” signs around the town.
Until May, one weather-beaten plywood sign and the remains of two fallen “welcome to” signs were all that welcomed visitors to Elbow Lake.
The Elbow Lake Lions spearheaded an effort four years ago to build three new signs that would properly represent the town. John Kreft was a member of the committee in charge of the project.
The first steps were to decide what it would look like and how it would be paid for, Kreft said.
“The club thought it should be something indicative of our town,” he said. “As you drive into the town from either direction, you see the elevator. The industry in this town is agriculture, and by far the biggest business in town is the grain elevator.”
The committee proposed agriculture as a theme for the signs, and the club jumped on the idea right away. The design incorporates grain bin panels and old red clay silo brick to create a snapshot of Elbow Lake, Kreft said.
Dan Hengel of Cross Country Construction provided 24 grain bin panels for the project.
The red clay brick was once part of a torn-down silo in Parkers Prairie. The Lions club had to clean and cut hundreds of bricks to make them fit the design.
“Many organizations gave time, money and effort to this project,” Kreft said. “It was very much a community effort.”
The first stage of construction was to pour concrete, but the first attempt didn’t go very well. It had rained earlier in the day and the concrete ran all over the grass, he said.
After the first hiccup, the project went smoothly with the help of the city crew doing all of the site preparation, said Kreft.
Municipal power drilled all of the holes, and Johnson Nelson in Ashby donated hundreds of dollars worth of mortar for the project.
AmeriFab owner Terry Gardener donated time to make, galvanize and cut steel panels used for the project. Gardener and AmeriFab assembled the first sign, but the Lions club assembled the other two, and the final sign was installed on May 30, Kreft said.
“We’ve heard nothing but great things,” said Kreft. “I think people appreciate that it was publicly done through volunteer labor. It was a big group effort.”
The Lions did not receive any funding from the city for this project, but area businesses and organizations were more than willing to help out. The Elbow Lake Community fund donated $7,500, the Lions paid $3,000, the Firemans Relief organization donated $3,000 and around a dozen businesses gave a minimum of $500. Several individuals also donated large amounts, Kreft said.