Athens Review, Athens, Texas

January 22, 2014

City alters signs

Chandler changes gateway display

Chad Wilson
The Athens Review

Athens — The landscape of Chandler has changed over the past two years, and now city officials are seeking to alter the three gateway signs welcoming people into the city.

Located at Winchester Park, Arlie McCain Memorial Park and River Park, the three city signs not only welcome people to Chandler, they include the city's motto.

After discussion with the city council, city administrator John Taylor will be working with Keep Chandler Beautiful to change the signs within the upcoming months.

Since the signs are located at city parks, Taylor and council agreed there needed to be something on the sign to identify the parks. Currently, there is no signage at Winchester or River Park to alert guests to the location.

“None of our parks have signage visible off the road. The city gateway signs have potential to function as gateway signs, as well as park signs,” Taylor said. “We have thousands of out-of-town visitors to Winchester Park every year for baseball tournaments, yet there is not any signage telling them they are at the right park.”

At this time of the year, River Park has hundreds of people come to the Neches River looking for a place to park, but the only sign that tells them a parking lot is public is a vinyl banner tied to the fence.

McCain Park will have a new Visitors Center and Historic Museum opening March 1, and proper signage is needed to alert motorists of the venue.

“We need to identify the parks as people are driving,” Councilman Gene Giger said. “We know where they are at, but others might not. In fact, I did not even know there was not a sign out there, since I know where the parks are at. But, we need to identify the parks for guests to our city.”

The plan is to remove the city's motto from the signs, and replace it with the park name in 8-inch letters, individually mounted to the brick. The letters will be a durable, brushed aluminum.

“The Chandler gateway signs were originally funded by Keep Chandler Beautiful, and are located perfectly to also function as park entrance signs,” Taylor said.

The motto, “City with a Heart,” will be removed, but it will still be displayed in several locations across the city.

“This is not a proposal to change the city motto, as it will remain 'City with a Heart,' and it will be displayed on the 25 banners that line Highway 31 and Farm-to-Market 315,” Taylor said.

Landscaping around the signs will also change to make them more visible to passing motorists.

“There has been some discussion that Keep Chandler Beautiful may be willing to fund these sign improvements, which have been estimated at $2,138.75 for all three signs as proposed,” Taylor said.

Keep Chandler Beautiful is expected to discuss the partnership at its next meeting.

The city has also been in contact with the Texas Department of Transportation about adding highway signs to help identify the parks, but if approved, they would be traditional highway signs, and not an entrance sign.

“I think this is a great option for us,” Mayor Ann Hall said.