Troy City Council again pauses plans for gateway signs

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published June 12, 2019

 After multiple rounds of review, city staff decided the gateway designs should be modern, internally lit, and made of aluminum and acrylic.

After multiple rounds of review, city staff decided the gateway designs should be modern, internally lit, and made of aluminum and acrylic.

Image provided by the city of Troy

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TROY — The Troy City Council postponed moving forward on the construction of gateway signs to the city for a second time amid concerns that the signs look dated.

The council voted 6-0 June 3 to postpone construction of the signs designed by KMA Design. Councilman Ed Pennington was absent.

At an April 22 meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Ethan Baker had raised concerns that the signs would look dated.

Baker asked that the $79,970 construction contract with Signs by Crannie, of Flint, be removed from the consent agenda for discussion at the April 22 meeting.

Approval of standard purchasing items are routinely handled on the consent agenda.

“I suggest you postpone until you get a better handle on what people want to see on there,” resident Cynthia Wilshire said at the June 3 meeting.

“The idea we are so traditional we can’t change bothers me,” said resident Aaron Green. “We are a dynamic place. The new logo is enjoyable and fresh.”

City Marketing Coordinator Stephanie Fleischer told the council that KMA also designed the signs for the Troy Public Library. She said the city has a good relationship with the firm.

She said the designs that KMA presented were the result of a 1 1/2-year-long process. Fleischer said that after multiple rounds of review, city staff decided the designs should be modern, internally lit, and made of aluminum and acrylic.

KMA took the feedback and created three different designs, Fleischer said.

“We wanted contemporary, but not trendy,” Fleischer said.

The design contract was approved for an estimated total cost of $23,000. So far, the city has paid approximately $17,000 to KMA for its design efforts.

Department of Public Works Director Kurt Bovensiep told the council that up to $200,000 had been slated for the gateway signs.

“It’s significantly under budget,” he said.

“I don’t know if we were the client we needed to be,” said Councilwoman Ellen Hodorek. “Sophistication and timeliness — I’m not sure it’s there.”

“You’re never going to get everyone to agree,” said Councilman Dave Henderson.

Slater agreed.

“That’s why you hire experts,” Slater said, praising KMA for its expertise and adding: “I’m never going to vote against postponing an item if the majority of council needs more time.”

“The image of the city is very important,” Baker said. “If that means going back a couple steps, so be it.”

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