'Marigold' signs violate state law
When the Mantorville Economic Development Authority built the elaborate "Welcome to Mantorville" signs in 2009 at each entrance to town off Minnesota Highway 57, members did not realize they would bring about the demise of the Marigold Days signs on the edge of the city.
On April 11, Harry Van DeWiele, outdoor advertising control agent with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, notified Mantorville City Clerk Cami Reber that the Marigold Days signs would have to come down.
Marigold Days is held the weekend after Labor Day every year and is the city's largest festival.
Van DeWiele said Minnesota municipalities are allowed one city identification sign at each highway entry. Until the larger signs were constructed, the Marigold Days signs were considered to be city identification signs. Now they’re advertising signs and are prohibited by state statute.
Since then, Reber and Van DeWiele have continued their discussions and Van DeWiele agreed the sign nearest the bridge on the left side of Highway 57 may be considered to be in a park.
That one can stay.
The other one came down on April 21. At Monday's city council meeting, Public Works Supervisor Adam Hovden said the sign is at the city shop and, "It’s in pretty good shape if we get permission to reinstall it."
Reber said the city may be able to put a sign by the bed of marigolds between the welcome sign and the city limits while the flowers are in bloom.
"We’ve been known basically as the Marigold City," said Mayor Luke Nash. "But, it’s a process of cooperation. We have been working with MnDOT to place signs where it’s appropriate. We don’t want to be different than any other city but we would like to have the signs where people can identify with our city."