homepage logo

Just offering my two cents worth

By Staff | Feb 22, 2015

Quick, somebody pinch me. I must be dreaming.

I am pretty sure that I have used this column space at least three times in the past eight years to promote the fact Blue Earth needs some welcome signs on the edges of the city.

It was one of the first things I noticed when I moved to this fair city. No big sign that identified the town as Blue Earth. I found that odd.

How could a city the size of Blue Earth, with a tourist attraction the size of the Green Giant statue, not have an identifying sign, alerting visitors to the fact that they were in this city with the unique name of “Blue Earth?”

Oh yes, there was the little green Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) highway sign that said Blue Earth and the population. And yes, there was a nice tourist information sign tucked under the trees as you turned off of Highway 169 and headed to Giant Park.

But, there was no large sign that every other town and city in Faribault County and the rest of the state of Minnesota seems to have.

Now, that could all be changing, with the recent vote of the Blue Earth Economic Development Authority (EDA) to proceed with purchasing and installing four signs that say “Welcome to Blue Earth.”

The vote is, of course, a major step. But, it is just a first step. Other decisions, such as how to pay for the signs and where they should be placed, are all yet to be discussed and decided.

Still, this is progress, and at some point, hopefully, it will become a reality.

Dare I say a dream come true?

I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help but toss in my two cents worth about the proposed signs.

First off, I hope the signs are not too small.

While their size may be OK for the ones that will be placed on the east, west and south edges of town, I fear the one to the north might be too small to be noticed.

Coming in from the south on Highway 169 and from the east or west on Highway 16, these signs will be adequate to be easily seen by everyone passing by.

But, coming in from the north, a sign that size could be lost if placed too far off the split roadway. Since that could be considered the ‘main’ entrance into the city, especially for visitors coming in off I-90 to see the big green guy, it should be large enough to be seen from a distance.

Which brings me to point No. 2. Location.

Hopefully, care will be taken on just where the signs are placed. Not too far out of town, not too far off the roadway and not among other things on the side of the road that make them hard to see as a car whizzes by.

And, before you suggest the signs on Highway 169 should be placed in the roundabouts, let me just say that is a great idea, except that MnDOT will not allow that, due to safety concerns.

And, since several cars have indeed cruised up and over the roundabouts, MnDOT might be right.

The third point is whether the signs really need to say ‘Welcome to?’

Of course, they are referred to as “Welcome to Blue Earth” signs, but often these types of signs just have the name of the city, and maybe the year the city was established.

Would they be nicer with just the wonderful name of ‘Blue Earth’ on them?

Just a thought.

I know I should just shut up and be happy that finally these signs are more than just a thought and could very soon become a reality.

And I am happy. But, if it is going to be done, it should also be done right.

I realize there is still some work to be done on getting these signs completed, and some may think our story on the front page is jumping the gun a little bit, but I think this is some very good news and it should be welcomed by everyone.

You might even say it is a dream come true for this transplanted Blue Earthian.

Kudos to the Blue Earth EDA for taking this giant step.

I hope the possible snags and issues, such as funding the signs, are easily handled and that sometime this summer, you will be seeing some brand new, long-awaited, entrance signs to the city.