Repairing $2,100 accident
Shortly after 8 a.m. today the cracked Historic Downtown Washington sign at Washington and Second Avenue was removed from its foundation to make room for a new sign that is coming in about a month.
Workers lifted the sign out in three pieces, the result of an accident that happened during snow removal over the winter when a city dump truck backed into it on Feb. 22. Since the accident, cracks that had penetrated the sign clear through on both lower corners have been getting more prominent. City administrator Brent Hinson said that the cost of replacing the sign was being covered by the city’s insurance.
As City of Washington maintenance workers expanded the slots in the posts, Jim Bennett of Bennett Masonry, who crafted the sign when it was installed in November 2009, watched the work being done. He took measurements to ensure a close fit when creating a new sign for the display.
“We have to get a completely new sign and we have to make the opening to insert the new sign,” he said. “We will probably have the new sign in place in a month or so.”
Bennett said that when the sign was first installed, city workers had done most of the labor. He said this is a cost-saving measure. He said that he hopes people won’t be able to tell the difference between the new sign and the former sign.
Hinson said the sign that was removed this morning would be disposed of. The new sign costs about $2,100.
When the sign was first installed, the Downtown Enhancement Committee raised the needed $10,000 from local citizens, businesses and groups – including the Washington Betterment Foundation — to install it. It was an original part of the Downtown Enhancement Plan. The City of Washington provided an underground slab for the sign, as well as bringing water and electricity to the sign.