NEWBERRY — Newberry City Council unanimously approved a $68,294.96 bid from Georgia-based Creative Impressions to move forward with the city’s wayfinding project.
The city contracted Roger Motiska of Rodger Motiska Design Inc. last year for the system, which officials hopes will make it easier for visitors to find their way around downtown.
A series of meetings have been held over the past six months to gather input from merchants and citizens alike. The design of the signs and the proposed locations were approved by the focus groups.
Creative Impressions was the second bidder for the project and came in with the lowest bid.
“They are a highly recommended firm,” City Manager Al Harvey said.
Assistant City Manager Matt DeWitt told council the bid agreement requires the company to do the installs, which must be completed within 70 days.
In other business, council held the first reading of an ordinance to amend sections 900 sign regulation and section 901 permitted signs to provide for banners on private light posts in the general commercial zoning district, providing for codification and providing for severability; providing for an effective date. A public hearing drew no comments.
The ordinance was initiated by the Planning and Development Services Department staff. Stokes Trainor and Piedmont Technical College currently have vertical banners mounted on private light posts.
Piedmont Tech was granted a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals, while the banner at Stokes Trainor was considered as non-conforming, according to Ward Braswell, director of planning and development.
The reason for the proposed zoning text amendment is to regulate the size and intervals for vertical banners, said Mayor Foster Senn. The current zoning ordinance does not contain text concerning these types of signs.
According to Braswell, once City Council passes second reading, these banners will be conforming and will be able to be replaced without city approval as long they meet the guidelines of two vertical banners per acre, no more than 21 square feet in area, minimum ratio of 2:1 height to width, installed at a minimum height of 9 feet above grade and no higher than 25 feet above grade, and must be spaced at least 40 feet apart. Banners may be grouped in pairs flanking a light pole.
In other business:
• Harvey told council members they were right where they needed to be in expenditures and revenue for the budget, but would know more during upcoming budget sessions.
• Senn and Harvey recognized Angela Summer for her 25 years of service with the city. Summer began her employment on Feb. 20, 1989 and holds the position of Water Plant Superintendent.
In new business:
• Council passed a resolution declaring the month of April as “Fair Housing Month.” To continue participating in the Community Development Block Grant Program, local governments are required to demonstrate a commitment to supporting fair housing. The resolution says that the city rejects discrimination. “We’re happy to do that every year,” Senn said.
• City Council’s April council meeting was moved from April 8 to April 15 due to conflicts of the majority of council.
• A work session pertaining to the Capital Improvement Plan for the city of Newberry will be held at 5:30 p.m. April 1o.
• Jackie Swindler reminded council and those present that Newberry’s first half-marathon is Saturday. Race organizer Mark Baumgartner is expecting over 300 people to arrive at Newberry High School Saturday morning for an 8 a.m. start. Swindler asked drivers to approach all intersections with caution as runners will be covering a 13.1 mile course through the city and the county.