GALLIPOLIS — Rio Grande Village Council will be adding new street signs with the Welsh red dragon on them to village roads in celebration of the village’s Welsh heritage.
“We started seeing a lot of street signs where they were faded or beat up from weather,” say Rio Grande Mayor Matt Easter. “One councilwoman, who has been here at least 24 years, swears that she doesn’t remember ever (replacing) street signs since she’s (served on council).”
The council contacted a company which advised the council on sign ideas. Easter suggested the Welsh theme of the village’s heritage should be integrated into the new signs as the village is part of the Welsh Byway. The company eventually came back with a price and a mock-up of potential new signage.
“I put (the mock-up) on Facebook to get an idea of people’s feelings,” said Easter. “Everybody loved the design. There was some disagreement as to which color was best though. The design has had no negatives. People thought it was cool and sets our town apart.”
The council started looking at the sign purchases more closely. Green was one of the primary suggested colors for the sign background but council members felt potentially green would blend in too well with local foliage. Village officials then narrowed the color choices to white or blue. Many liked the white signs as they felt it would provide an “old town” feel to the village streets.
“We’ve not been to any neighboring communities with blue street signs,” said Easter. “With the dragon, this would really set our community apart. So, council chose blue.”
The Madog Center for Welsh Studies in Rio Grande is anticipated to contribute partial funding to the project as part of the “continued celebration” of Welsh heritage in the village said Easter.
The total cost of the project will number a little over $3,000 with roughly 80 signs. Each sign costs around $40. Every street in the village should be seeing a sign replacement. Easter said the signs will likely go up in the fall as soon as village maintenance workers wrap up summer tasks. The sign orders will be placed by the end of the week.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.