Kenai Chamber of Commerce pitches new electronic sign

KENAI — With the Kenai Chamber of Commerce celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, Fred Braun, a director for the chamber, said he could not think of a better gift from the City of Kenai than a new sign.

At the April 2 Kenai City Council meeting, Braun and chamber treasurer Brendyn Shiflea presented a proposal for a new electronic reader board sign for the Chamber and Visitor and Cultural Center. The purpose of the sign would be to promote events for both the chamber and visitor’s center.

The proposed location for the 9-foot tall sign would be at the corner of the Kenai Spur Highway and Main Street. Braun said the sign, which would have the chamber logo above the electronic board, would be clean and easy to read from the street.

Braun presented two options to the city council with estimates from Kenai Neon Sign Co. The cost of a full color sign would be $22,588 while a monochrome sign is estimated at $19,567. Neither price includes the cost of a $7,000 concrete foundation estimated by Carmody Masonry LLC.

If the city selected the full color sign, including electrical and excavation costs, Braun estimated the total price of the project at about $35,000.

One unique feature of the sign is the Kenai River engraved in the concrete base, although it would be difficult to see from the vehicle passersby, he said. The price could be reduced by $2,000 if the river design was removed from the foundation.

Mayor Pat Porter asked Braun if the chamber was looking for 100 percent funding from the city.

“Since the chamber is turning 60 this year I could not think of a better gift,” Braun said.

Kenai City Manager Rick Koch said if the city pays for the sign then it would own it.

Porter said the sign would be a benefit to the city by promoting events put on by the visitor and cultural center as well as announcing chamber luncheons.

Council member Mike Boyle had a concern that a 9-foot sign would obstruct the view of the building. He also suggested the sign have a combination of both the chamber and city logo, which Braun did not object to.

Since the City of Kenai agreed to finance the sign, the council recommended that city administrators review the proposal and put together a final plan in coordination with the chamber of commerce. Administration will respond with a final sign proposal for council consideration later this spring.

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