While I was out doing some necessary shopping after today's Council luncheon, the "Springfield News-Leader's" Wes Johnson was busy breaking the news, the City Council will be reconsidering the wayfinding sign contract that raised quite a controversy as it followed on the heels of a failed 1 percent sales tax ballot initiative to fund the police and fire pension plan. Later, Johnson fleshed the story out a bit more.
The News-Leader exposed the total cost of the sign system in an earlier article, after the February 9, City Council meeting, when four members of the eight, present, Council members voted to accept the bid of a Michigan company for a contract in the amount of $334,488.45 for the design and fabrication of the signs. The News-Leader reported the total cost, including installation of the signs would be $600,000. In the same issue, the News-Leader published a scathing editorial, "Council not reading right signs." Apparently, Councilman Denny Whayne read the paper's sign and took the editorial to heart.
Following is the City's news release regarding the Wayfinding Signs Project:
Feb. 17, 2009
For Immediate Release
Zone 1 City Councilman Denny Whayne today asked City Council to reconsider the bill Council approved at its Feb. 9 meeting to accept the bid for a wayfinding system.
Councilman Whayne said he supports the concept of the wayfinding system, but believes it is necessary to reconsider the resolution that was approved because of the timing with current economic conditions.
The wayfinding system was one of the projects included in the ¼-cent sales tax for capital improvements approved by voters in 2007. Planning for the wayfinding system began in 2004 as a means to increase the number of people who visit Springfield by providing a high-profile signage system to direct people from the highway system to retail districts.
The process for reconsidering Resolution 9660 will be the following:
* The bill will be posted as a possible addition to the agenda for the Feb. 23, 2009 City Council meeting.
* Council will consider a motion to reconsider the bill. There is no public hearing on the motion. If the motion is approved, the bill will be added to the agenda for Monday's meeting.
* If the bill is added, Council could consider three options: The bill could be approved; the bill could be rejected; or the bill could be tabled and remanded to one of City Council's committees.
I had previously weighed in on the issue of Wayfinding signs, here.
The Council also continued their discussion about nuisance properties.