New sign welcomes visitorsPublished 11:08am Thursday, October 10, 2013
By Heather Rule
Welcome to Fergus Falls.
The first permanent monument sign to welcome Fergus Falls visitors is in place along West Lincoln Avenue near Applebee’s. Local representatives gathered Wednesday for a ribbon cutting.
“Let’s get that sign in before winter,” said Jean Bowman, executive director of the Fergus Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The sign was privately funded and cost $18,400. The CVB and Chamber of Commerce each chipped in $6,000. The Chamber used raffle proceeds for its share. Other donors for the sign included West Central Initiative, Otter Tail Power, Moore Engineering, Lake Region Healthcare, America’s Best Value Inn and Calla Lily Designs.
Funds for the first sign were raised through a public relations effort, according to Bowman.
Seven locations have been identified to house signage, which were prioritized based on traffic counts and visibility now and in the future. The sign committee narrowed down locations from a list of 15 potential areas at one point, according to Lisa Workman, executive director of the Fergus Falls Chamber of Commerce.
The intent is that the sign will become a city asset, a non-commercial sign that serves the common good.
“We really wanted it to stand for Fergus Falls… but to have a real classic look,” Workman said.
The sign isn’t lit yet; that costs another $4,500, plus the monthly bills to keep it lit. The committee will raise money for lighting the first sign before continuing to raise money for the other signs.
The next sign will be over by Big Chief, though a timeline for when that one will be installed hasn’t been set yet. Funds need to be raised first.
“It’d be nice if we could get that one in in the spring,” Bowman said.