On a rainy day around maybe 20 years ago, a group of city officials, reporters and others gathered in the brush beside Highway 20 in North Albany to dedicate a brand-new “Welcome to Albany” sign. Now it might be time to again refresh the old wooden sign or even replace it with one that can actually be seen.
A reader suggested that this be done. In response, last week I took my first close look at the sign since that wet day long ago. I also inquired at City Hall.
“Our sign on Highway 20 is small, old, and due for another reconditioning,” responded Ed Hodney, director of parks and recreation who also now heads the CARA urban renewal program.
“It would be great if we could come up with a sign to replace the old one,” he said. “Since one of my new tasks is to complete the new wayfinding system for downtown by the end of this year (CARA project), I have proposed that we design a new Welcome to Albany sign to reflect the architecture and colors of the new system.”
What he has in mind is a sign large enough to be read at 45 mph, both day and night, “something we can be proud of.”
He has a couple of design concepts in hand, but as usual it’s a question of money. Hodney says he’ll have to come up with a cost estimate along with alternatives for funding. “If all goes well, I’ll share the designs and get direction from policy makers later this year, once I have a plan to pay for it.”
So with any kind of luck, people might be gathering for another sign dedication right about next winter, maybe on another dark and rainy day.(hh)