The City of Imperial Beach logo, a Woody with a surfboard hanging out the back, may soon be added to city street signs. The federal government now requires all major streets have larger signs with six inch letters.
On Wednesday, City Council listened to plans by city staff to install new signs, which will cost about $12,000 to implement over the next four or five years.
A final decision on the matter will be made at a future Council meeting.
Adding the Woody logo, said Public Works Director Hank Levien who came up with the idea, will cost an additional $4,000.
Mayor Jim Janney said he liked the idea.
"I believe when you are advertising or promoting a community, you keep hitting the same thing over and over again," said Janney. "In this case it has been the Woody logo."
Janney said if you look at the larger picture, it is not a lot of money and that it would make a strong statement for the community as these signs will cover all of the city's major streets.
"I think it is something that brings a sense of your place to Imperial Beach," he said.
"We need to set ourselves apart. I think it would be worth it to find a way to put them all up at once. It is a positive change and I think it makes sense to just bite the bullet and find a way to get the money and make it happen in one year."
Councilman Ed Spriggs said the city would get a "bigger bang for the buck" by installing all new signs at once instead of over the course of four or five years.
Seacoast Drive is not part of the plan due to the street's reduced speed limit. He said even though Seacoast Drive was not in the original plan, adding half a dozen signs to the project would enhance the look of the city and only add marginally to the cost.
"One important place we get a lot of visitors is the commercial part of Seacoast," he said. "It seems to be inconsistent to have these newer signs coming into the area then regular signs on Seacoast Drive."
Councilwoman Lorie Bragg asked what would happen to the old signs and Levine said they would probably be recycled and the city already has a stock of replacement signs ready to go.
Bragg said a community member called her earlier in the day with what she thought was a great idea to sell the old signs to the community.
"We are supposed to be about recycle, reuse and repurpose," said Bragg. "We could raise money to help pay for the new signs. I know I would love to have a sign from the street that I live on. There are opportunities in town where we could take advantage of retail for this."
City council unanimously directed city staff to get an idea of the total cost of the project and bring it back to council for a decision. Janney said to look at other community resources and non-profits to come up with the extra money needed and to look at the possibilities of creatively funding the new signs and dealing with the sale of the old ones.
If street signage is not completed by 2017 the city could be subject to loss of federal monies for road maintenance, said City Manager Gary Brown.