Sunset Hills aldermen OK purchase of LED sign for city complex entrance

Board of Aldermen votes 5-3 to name Webb as president.

By MIKE ANTHONY

The purchase of an LED monument sign for the entrance of the Sunset Hills municipal complex was approved last week by the Board of Aldermen.

Aldermen voted 7-1 April 26 to purchase the sign from Bill Yount Signs with Ward 1 Alderman Frank Hardy opposed. While the sign will cost $36,657, Parks and Recreation Director Gerald Brown requested the board approve an amount not to exceed $43,000 for the entire sign project.

The LED monument sign will replace the existing entrance sign to the municipal complex. The new sign will be placed on the south side of the entrance closer to South Lindbergh Boulevard than the existing sign. Messages will highlight the Community Center as well as recreation programs, special events and meetings of city boards and committees.

The board’s approval of the LED monument sign came after it adopted an ordinance enacting new sign regulations that, among other provisions, allow electronic message signs.

Aldermen voted 7-1 to adopt the ordinance with Hardy opposed. Hardy had wanted to delay action on the ordinance until the board’s May 10 meeting.

Under the new sign regulations, electronic message signs are permitted as an attachment to or placement as a ground or pole sign only. Other provisions for electronic message signs included in the new regulations are:

• The maximum area cannot exceed 50 square feet.

• Only one electronic message sign per establishment is permitted.

• Electronic message signs must be a minimum distance of 100 feet from any residentially zoned property.

• Animation, flashing, blinking characters, scrolling text or continuous movement is not permitted in any circumstance.

• Text displayed per line on the message sign at any one time shall be limited to 10 words.

• All displays must be static with a minimum duration of five seconds for text and 20 seconds for images. Transition time must be no longer than one second.

• Electronic message signs shall contain a default design that will freeze the design in one position if a malfunction occurs.

Regarding the new LED monument sign for the municipal complex, Hardy took exception with the words ‘City of’ being included at the top of the sign.

“… The issue I have is this logo on top (of the sign),” Hardy said. “There is a board-approved Sunset Hills logo, which is behind us, which does not include the ‘City of’ and I know Mayor (Bill) Nolan suggested adding that because it sounds like a rest home. So when you put your return address on your envelope, do you write down ‘City of Sunset Hills’ or do you write down ‘Sunset Hills, Mo.’?”

Nolan said to Hardy, “Mr. Alderman, you want to take the words ‘City of’ Sunset Hills off because I suggested that they be added or you want to take them off because it is not the City of Sunset Hills?”

Hardy said, “… No. I want to take it off because behind us, Mr. Mayor, is our 2007 logo that we approved — the board approved.”

Referring to the city logo behind the dais, Nolan said, “Maybe that ought to have ‘City of’ over it as well.”

Hardy said, “Maybe so, but it doesn’t at the moment.”

Ward 4 Alderman Claudia Svoboda seconded Hardy’s motion to remove the words ‘City of’ from the sign. But the motion failed with only Hardy, Svoboda and Ward 2 Alderman Tom Hrastich in favor.

In other business last week, the Board of Aldermen:

• Voted 5-3 to name Ward 3 Alderman Stephen Webb as acting president of the Board of Aldermen. Webb succeeds Hardy as acting board president.

• Voted unanimously to approve a resolution authorizing the city to apply for a grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation to replace trees at Watson Trail Park that were lost to the New Year’s Eve tornado. If approved, the city could receive a grant of up to $10,000.