Mayor praises new signs effort; asks for more direct Orange engagement

Published 12:04 am Saturday, May 4, 2024

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During the most recent City of Orange City Council meeting, Mayor Larry Spears Jr. heaped some praise on Director of Planning Kelvin Knauf and his team, while asking for more residents to speak with council members directly.

Spears was especially complimentary of Orange’s recently installed wayfinder signs.

The signs are 12-feet tall and 7-feet wide and were installed last month using hotel/motel tax revenue. The project cost approximately $105,963.

“A lot of people are coming to our city, saying ‘we don’t know what is Orange, West Orange and Pinehurst,’” Spears said. “Well, now we have signs. Thank you for helping get those installed. It’s definitely a blessing.”

According to the mayor, some, especially social media users, think city leaders are wasting taxpayer money.

“If you go to church, you find out what the preacher is saying. If you go to school, you find out what the teacher is saying. If you want to find out what is going on in the city, you have to come ask,” Spears stressed.

“We did not burn taxpayer money. We got a chance to use some different funding for that. Hopefully, we will be able to find some more opportunities here in the future, so thank yall, regardless of the silliness on Facebook.”

The signs were installed at Sunset Park, on Stark Foundation property at 16th Street and Park Avenue, at City Hall, at Lions Den Park by MacArthur Drive, at old City Hall, on Stark Foundation property on Green Avenue near the old First Baptist Church and on Simmons Drive across from Riverside Pavilion.

“The wayfinder signs inform locals and tourists where the different facilities are, like the Lutcher Theater, Museum of Art, Shangri La Gardens and city hall, the boat ramp and the pavilions,” Knauf previously told Orange Newsmedia, adding they are similar in design and purpose of what has been seen in other cities.

He noted with funding coming from the existing hotel-motel tax, out-of-town visitors are largely paying for the project, which is who the effort is looking to benefit.

“These help convey the image that we are tourist-friendly to help tourists find their way to the different locations, some facilities and promote Orange as a tourist area,” Knauf said. “It also helps our local residents, especially our newer residents, who may not be aware of where these facilities are.”