AUSTIN EDITION - Austin commission says 'yes' to sign

By Roxana Orellana

The city of Austin is one step closer to officially welcoming Interstate 90 travelers.

On Tuesday, the Austin Planning Commission approved an appeal from the city to place a large sign on the edge of town that proclaims the "City of Austin Welcomes You."

City Community Development Director Craig Hoium, who presented the idea to the planning commission, said the $16,000 sign wouldn't be taller than 12 feet or wider than 18 feet. The sign requires an exemption from the city's own code, which limits free-standing ground signs to 8 feet in height and 25 square feet in face area.


The sign proposal will now be heard by the Austin City Council on Sept. 15. The sign will be installed only if approved by both the Mower County Board and city council.

The sign would be placed north of the right-of-way of I-90 between the 21st and 28th street exits and the overpass near the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center. The sign would also display the city's logo and potentially those of the service clubs that help fund it.

Money for the sign would come from the Hormel Foundation, service clubs, a private citizen and the city.

Plans for the sign have existed since 2002. The city would pay one-third of the cost but not more than $5,000. The city's share of the cost would come out of this year's contingency fund.

In other business, the commission approved a 30-foot by 14-foot free-standing sign at Riverland Community College.

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