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The city of Berne has agreed to provide $8,000 in County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) funds for the purchase and erection of a welcome sign on the city's north side.
David Baumgartner, president of the Berne Community Development Corp., was present at last week's city council meeting to request the city's help in purchasing the "gateway sign."
In 2010 the council approved a $5,000 expenditure for the purchase of five "wayfinding" signs that point out key local attractions to visitors to Berne. The Berne CDC also donated to the project, and some labor and materials were donated.
In 2011 the CDC applied for another grant through the Indiana Main Street program that would have allowed the purchase of additional wayfinding signs as well as a gateway sign, but that grant application was denied.
Baumgartner said state officials indicated that more evidence was needed to show that Berne was moving forward with the signage project on its own. He said the CDC would provide $5,000 of the cost of the new gateway sign, and asked council for the remaining $8,000.
The sign, which would measure 12 feet in width, would incorporate the clock tower motiff. The sign, Baumgartner said, would be 11 feet in height at its highest point. It would be located along U.S. 27 north of Berne at a yet to be determined site.
Councilman Ron Dull said the city had approved $5,000 in CEDIT funds for the 2011 sign project that failed to materialize when the grant application was denied. He said the additional $3,000 necessary for the gateway sign is available in the city's CEDIT account.
The council voted 5-0 to approve the expenditure.
"I think this will make a good first impression for people coming into Berne," said Baumgartner.