published Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Jasper to replace banned signs with City Hall message board

  • photo
    This sign at Jasper City Hall will be raised several feet and a new LED sign announcing various local events will be installed underneath it if the city can raise the money. Photo by Ryan Lewis

JASPER, Tenn. — When Marion County commissioners voted last month to ban signs from the county courthouse lawn, Jasper Mayor Paul Evans wanted to find a way to continue advertising various local events.

At last week's meeting of the Jasper Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Evans brought up for discussion the idea of buying a large LED sign as an alternative to the signs on the courthouse lawn.

The LED sign will be installed under the current sign at City Hall, he said, and officials will solicit donations from local groups to cover the cost so no city money will be used.

"The signs [at the courthouse] were an eyesore, and I just think this is something we could do [to replace them]," Evans said. "We can advertise local community events and even our city meetings, county meetings and anything else that comes up."

Even though Evans wanted only to gauge the board's interest in the idea, they liked the plan so much they voted unanimously to approve it.

"I think it's a good idea, personally," Alderman Steve Looney said.

Alderman Leon Rash said the city will set up a fund to accumulate the money needed to purchase the sign and install it.

A recent donation of $2,000 from the estate of Joseph Lasater will be used as the initial deposit into the fund, officials said.

Evans said the LED sign's purchase price will have to be bid out, and he estimates it will cost between $13,000 and $15,000.

"I've already spoken to a few groups, and they've all agreed to donate toward this," he said. "The money is there, and I think we've got a good start. This is something that would really be used."

City officials said they will consider placing a plaque at City Hall honoring all those who donated to the sign.

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