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Welcome sign is a welcome sight

By Staff | May 8, 2016

This large mock up of the new “Welcome to Blue Earth” sign was out on Highway 169 last week to give residents an idea of what the real sign will look like at that location.

I really don’t mean to look a gift horse in the mouth.

After all, I have long been a proponent of Blue Earth getting some sort of “Welcome to Blue Earth” signs put up at the four major entrances to the city.

And now, finally, it looks like that is going to happen. And I am pretty pleased about it.

At least the first sign, on the north end of town, on Highway 169, is a go. Thanks to the people who are on the Blue Earth Economic Development Authority and the members of the City Council, and city administrator Tim Ibisch, and their decision to move forward on this long overdue project.

But, I feel duty bound to make a few comments, and one has to do with the proposed location of the first new sign.

Perhaps you drove north of town on Highway 169 last week and noticed the mock up of the new sign near the intersection with County Road 6. Yes, that was a mock up, not the real thing.

The model of the sign, on a plastic sheet, was put up at the proposed site where the real sign will go. It was done just to give the City Council members and others an idea of what the sign would look like.

I am happy with the size of it, as now it is about twice the size of what was originally proposed. And, I guess the look of it, the wording and the logo, are all OK.

But, the location seems to be, well, not where I was thinking it should go.

It is about a mile or so north of town. You, know, right where the Lions Club little wildlife preserve is.

I guess I understand the logic. It is actually the first place you can turn off of Highway 169 to come into Blue Earth, if you are coming from the north. Many of us do just that, if we are headed to downtown Main Street.

But, it just seems like it is a long way outside of town. And, it will miss being seen by all those folks who are turning off of Interstate 90 and coming into the city from that main artery.

Wouldn’t it be better to place the sign on Highway 169 between I-90 and the first roundabout? Or isn’t there a good spot there? I?guess the city has looked there and not found one.

(I know, there are those who wanted it inside that first roundabout, me included. But MnDOT has said no. It would be a traffic hazard there, they say.)

I realize there are a couple of Blue Earth signs already in position as you approach the roundabout. The official MnDOT little green sign that says “Blue Earth Pop. 3,353,” and the chamber sign about shopping here.

And, maybe that is enough. Perhaps the best place is north of I-90, where it is the first thing you see.

The truth is, I am so tickled to finally be able to see a sign of any type, anywhere, that maybe I should just say thank you.

What do you think?

Take our online poll this week and let us know. Or better yet, tell a city councilman or the city administrator what you think. They have expressed being open about where the location should be.

It still is a darn shame it can’t be put inside that roundabout.