New signage will greet visitors to America's Hometown in the future. Designs for the signs were approved by the Hannibal City Council during its Sept. 3 meeting at city hall.
The signs will feature a Mark Twain logo. The lettering will be printed on a royal blue background. The larger signs will rest upon decorative stone supports.
The plastic-type material that the signs will be made of are sun resistant and should stand up to the efforts of vandals, according to City Manager Jeff LaGarce.
Five locations are proposed for the signs: Eastbound U.S. 36; westbound U.S. 36; northbound U.S. 61; southbound U.S. 61; and northbound Missouri 79.
The signs along U.S. 61 and U.S. 36 will be 5-foot by 9-foot. They will be supported by stone-like pillars. The sign on Missouri 79 will be smaller – 2.6 feet by 4 feet – since it will be closer to the roadway. It will be mounted on a single decorative post.
The signs are in compliance with Missouri Department of Transportation guidelines for both design and location.
LaGarce acknowledged to the Council that three of the five signs are further back from the roadway than he would like. But on the plus side, the likelihood of those signs being hit by a vehicle is minimal, according to the city manager.
None of the signs will be lighted at night.
"When you start talking about lighting them it becomes a different project," said LaGarce.
The signs, which will be produced by Park Place Signs in Hannibal, will cost $16,591.
"While this is a significant expense, it's also a one-time expense," wrote City Manager Jeff LaGarce in a memo.
To help hold down costs, the signs will be installed by Street Department personnel.
The order for the signs will not be placed until December or January, to provide time for additional sales tax revenue to come in to help pay for the signs. However, waiting to place the order could boost the total cost somewhat because of inflationary factors.
While $12,500 was designated for welcome signage in last year's budget which expired on June 30, no money is set aside in the current budget for the signs. A supplemental appropriation will be required.