Community Sign Funds Designated For Present Location

The City of Elgin last month pledged $5,000 in sales tax/economic development funds to the Elgin Community Club for the purchase of a new electronic sign for the community.
On Monday night, the Elgin City Council was asked to clarify where those funds were to be used.
Elgin Area Development Corporation President Janet Koinzan wanted to know if those funds were meant specifically for the sign’s current location. She and EADC board member Bruce Clark (not at the meeting) would like to see the Elgin Community Club, owners of the sign and property it sits on, place a new community sign at the intersection of Highways 14 and 70 on EADC property. To that end, Clark has offered to buy the land the sign currently sits on; he owns a rental home directly south abutting the property.
Mayor Mike Schmitt said the base for the community sign is already there (at the present location). The community club’s plan is to use the base and install a new two-way electronic sign inside it where the letters now are displayed.
“We thought it’s foolish to tear down,” Schmitt said about the City’s decision in February, noting the cost which would be incurred for a new base if the sign were moved to a new location.
Councilmen Ken Jochum and Jim Kittelson both agreed they didn’t want the community sign at the corner of Highways 14 and 70.
Koinzan said the EADC plans to sell a portion of the corner lot to an adjacent landowner and may use what’s left of the property, after the house is torn down, to place a ‘Welcome To Elgin’ sign.
Council member Shirley Nissen said she, and others she believes, would not donate any money if there’s going to be controversy over the sign location.
“If you want two signs, then you raise the money for the second one,” she told Koinzan.
The discussion concluded with no change to the city’s designation of funds for the community sign.