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BREAKING NEWS

Blue Earth officially welcomes you

By Staff | Jan 31, 2016

A close up of the area where the new welcome sign may go.

It has been in the works for about a year now, but Blue Earth city administrator Tim Ibisch says it will soon become a reality.

A new welcome to Blue Earth sign.

“I’m hoping that the sign will be installed in the spring, or by early summer for sure,” Ibisch says. “The City Council has voted to proceed with the project.”

Ibisch says the council has given the OK for one sign on the north side of the city along Highway 169. However, a plan to install three more smaller signs along Highway 169 to the south and Highway 16 to the east and west, has not been approved yet.

“The council is not in full agreement about the other signs,” the city administrator says. “But we will see after this first one is installed.

Here is what the Blue Earth welcome signs may look like.

Ibisch says the new sign will be located where County Road 6 (Main Street) connects to Highway 169, about two miles north of Blue Earth.

“There is a nature preserve there, in honor of (former BEA teacher) Donald Nyholm,” Ibisch says. “We just recently received permission from the county (which owns the land) to put the sign there.”

It will be far enough off the state highway right-of-way that they do not need permission from MnDOT, Ibisch adds.

“As soon as the snow is all gone this spring, we will be putting up a sample banner of the sign at the location,” Ibisch explains. “Just to see how it looks. The sign will be 20 feet by nine feet and that will be the size of the banner.”

It will only be there for a couple of days, just long enough for members of the City Council and the public to see what it will look like, and if it is large enough.

“If it looks good, then we will order the actual sign.” Ibisch says. “And then get it installed.”

The cost of the sign is about $12,000 and will be ordered from Precision Signs of Austin. The total cost of the one large sign and three smaller ones is estimated to be around $20,000 total.

The sign project has been in discussion for more than a year, and started at the Blue Earth Economic Development Authority, when they were looking at signs for the industrial parks and the Ag Center.

“But these welcome signs are more of a city-oriented thing, and the discussion shifted to the council,” Ibisch explains. “And it is a big decision that needs to be made by the City Council anyway, as the money comes from the city.”

Ibisch says he personally is excited about the project.

“I know this has been a need here and probably should have been done already,” he says. “I know the council is looking forward to seeing the new sign in place and so are lots of other folks.”