CIC Approves Sign on Freewalt Way

Staff Writer

Construction on Freewalt Way continues to move forward. At their meeting on Tuesday afternoon, the St. Marys Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) voted to go ahead with the purchase of a light-up sign that will advertise the businesses that will be located in the new subdivision.
The new sign will be made of stone brick with black plaques that will be replaceable if tenants move in and out of the space. Both sides of the sign will look the same with lights to make the sign visible at night.
“I think it’s a very attractive sign, it will add a nice approach there,” said CIC President Kraig Noble. “We’ve sold several lots and we’re marketing two. I think this will be sitting in that space just directly east of Vogel’s Bakery.”
Secretary Mike Burkholder estimated that the total cost of the sign will be around $6,000. The board voted for the city to share up to $3,000 of the cost.
Other business discussed at the meeting included an update of a loan repayment schedule back to the city for two loans — one for some storefront fixes to Fort Barbie and another for the purchase of the building that houses Arts Place.
“Bottom line is we weren’t paying enough … over a period so I think Mike and I and Andrea [Ciampaglio] looked at that said ‘we need to update to up the amount paid back to the city so we get that paid off in a timely fashion.’ At some point our lease expired and we still had another 10 years so it would be nice to get the city paid off.”
Noble added they had made an executive decision to up the payment but a representative from state auditor’s office said she would like to see the board approve that decision. The payment will increase to around $3,800 per quarter from $2,500.
“We’re paying more back to the city which goes to the 308 fund,” Noble said. “Which you can see by the report we have a healthy balance in there.”
The board also discussed giving funding to Eagle Scout Alex Mauter. He is growing a butterfly garden off the High Street Shelter House, encompassing the area under the power lines.
He got started planting last year with a little more to do this year, Burkholder said.
He was requesting $500 to complete the project but because of a miscommunication with those who maintain city land, the garden area was mowed over.
Burkholder suggested to raise the request to $700 to help cover the cost of what was lost.
“I think it is only fair to make right what we inadvertently did,” he said.
The board unanimously approved the motion.
In other business, the board:
• Heard from St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce Director Abby Balster about a request made to her by the Friends of St. Marys.
They are the group that puts together the annual garage sale event and the signs they typically get for free to advertise for that, they won’t be getting for free this year.
They asked if someone could help cover the cost of four signs to be spread around town — $100.
Noble said he would like to have more information about where they’ve contributed funds to in the past before making a decision.
• New veteran banners are set to be put up on Spring and Main streets.
Seventy banners will replace the original 70 for banners with a different veteran on each side.