Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Tourism signs for city get green light

City council approvesof project.

Plans are in the works for the placement of eight interpretative signs around Lake Helen and Lafayette Park.

Local tourism committee members would also like to install steel cutouts of a “Welcome to Gothenburg” with a Pony Express rider on light poles along the overpass.


Both projects received the blessing of the Gothenburg City Council at their Feb. 16 meeting.


Community Development Office director Anne Anderson, who represented the tourism committee, said the committee would like to use lodging tax improvement fund money to start the projects to improve tourism.

“We want to tell the story of Lake Helen through interpretative signs,” Anderson said, noting that the signs would not affect maintenance of the lake grounds or Lafayette Park. “We want to encourage people to walk around the lake, eat in the community and maybe stay overnight.”

Anderson said the committee would like to redo the Blue Star Memorial Highway sign at the lake and install a main interpretive sign at the entrance with a walking trail map on the back.

Other signs would be installed around the lake and park that would tell about such things as ice-cutting, a cemetery, a clubhouse and golf course, a power plant and the planting of trees in Gothenburg that were irrigated by the lake.

Anderson said Karan Smith, a Lafayette Park caretaker and member of the tourism committee, has spent much time researching the area.

The committee is working with a company that offers several different styles of signs.

Council member Jim Aden said he liked the idea but suggested installing low-profile signs with the exception of the main entrance sign.

Another council member, Tim Strauser, said a single pedestal sign would be easier to maintain.

City administrator Bruce Clymer said youths working on Eagle Scout projects could maybe assist in sign installation.

Anderson said she’d like to have the steel cutouts on overpass light poles by summer, noting that the tourism committee had tried cloth welcome banners on the poles but the banners blew away.

The cutouts were created by resident Tim Schmeeckle.

With the 150th anniversary of the Pony Express celebrated this summer, Anderson said it would be nice to have the signs up.

The annual re-enactment of the Pony Express ride will pass through Gothenburg on June 20.

However the tourism committee must receive permission from the Nebraska Department of Roads to install the signs because they would be located along a state highway.

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