Economic Development “Welcome to Philip” signage

“I think it will be one of the most attractive signs to be seen,” stated Jerry Kroetch to the Philip Economic Development Committee during its meeting on Thursday, July 29.

He was referring to a proposed cut-metal silhouette, welcome-to-Philip sign to be placed west of town on Highway 14. The 6 x 36 foot sign will stand upon 40’ long 10” I-beams. Kroetch agreed that it would be big, “A blind man won’t miss this sign.” It will have three main icons that represent Philip’s history – a buffalo, a locomotive, and a cowboy.

Such signs have been discussed by the City of Philip and the Philip Chamber of Commerce for years. Ideally, a noticeable and complimentary sign would be placed at each highway entrance to Philip. The Economic Development Committee is now being approached because, “the business owners will benefit from the people who actually stop in Philip,” said Kroetch.

The parties concerned have agreed that a goal to keep in mind is completion by the 2007 Philip Centennial. In order to accomplish this, planning and construction must begin almost immediately. If only one sign can be done for now, then this first one should be started as soon as possible. “We are going to knock on doors, and keep on doing so, until we have all four signs,” said Kroetch. At the same time, he acknowledged that businesses and citizens are being asked much already in preparation for the centennial.

The City of Philip has put $5,000 toward the signage project. Scotchman Industries has also donated $5,000. “I’m excited about it. It’s going to happen – maybe downsized – but it will get done,” said Kroetch.

Any downsizing that he was referring to would be because of limited funds. The estimated cost of $15,000 for this proposed sign does not include any lighting, landscaping or flagpoles.

The proposed first sign’s location will be just southeast of the intersection of Highway 14 and Pine Street. Landowner Charlene Kjerstad has agreed to an easement for the sign to be erected there, reported Jerry Kroetch. He also said that electricity for lighting is already near there and the City of Philip has agreed to cover the electricity if the cost will not exceed minimum amounts. Metal was argued to be a more desirable material because, with two layers of powder-coating, it would not rust, wear down to the weather, nor require any maintenance. The three other signs could be metal, stone or wood.

Kroetch fielded questions and addressed “devil’s advocate” scenarios from committee members. The committee was in favor of the signage plan. The proposed source of funds was then also scrutinized.

Over the years, area communities have received economic development grants from Golden West Telecommunications for a range of projects. Contributions from Golden West’s economic development program is part of $160,000 set aside annually for local development projects throughout its service area.

The Economic Development Committee attending members unanimously voted to apply for a $5,000 economic development grant from Golden West Telecommunications, with the stated intent of applying it toward the sign project.