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Add 'welcome' to Wadena signs?

Wadena art-deco sign

Craig Folkestad asked the Wadena City Council to consider adding a "welcome" message and the city Web site to the town's five entrance signs.

He's gotten lots of comments from people about the lack of "welcome" on the signs, he said.

Mayor Wayne Wolden gets comments statewide about how cool Wadena's signs are, he said.

"So we're recognized because of those signs," Wolden said.

The comments haven't been about why the signs don't say "welcome," he said.

Folkestad replied, "I think you're talking to the wrong people."

Wolden said he does hear it a lot, but locally.

Folkestad said local people are saying it and so are people who are new to the community.

"I deal a lot with new people," Folkestad, a real estate agent, said.

A question he's heard several times is "when are we going to finish them," Folkestad said.

Wolden said that's because the landscaping isn't done.

Folkestad said it's not the landscaping, they look unfinished. That's his opinion, he said. There is space on the signs that will work well for advertising the city's Web site.

"It just makes sense," Folkestad said. "Draw the people looking .. when they come by."

City Administrator Brad Swenson asked Folkestad if he's done any research on the cost for what he's proposing.

The cost will depend on how it's done, Folkestad said. He suggested a blue reflective tape to match the city's new blue street lights.

"It's not going to be a very large amount of money to just have those traced out and put on there," he said.

He thinks the cost will be raised by those people who want it done, Folkestad said.

"Pick one you like and then we'll get a price," Folkestad said referring to several examples of wording submitted to the council.

The signs were installed four years ago and cost just shy of $50,000. They were purchased with donated and city money. The city owns the signs.