City to get new entryway signs

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After a four-year wait, Canyon Lake will finally get new entryway signs welcoming visitors to the City. Four years ago the former City Council allocated $30,000 for entryway signs and appointed former City Manager Richard Rowe in charge of the project. Short story: the signs were going to cost more than what was budgeted for them and they were designed too large to fit in the medians, according to former Mayor Nancy Horton. The Council tabled the project.

Four years later, and with the City in the black financially, the Council decided to revisit the tabled project, which is now referred to as the “Entryway Monument Project.” Mike Borja, the City’s new administrative services manager, is heading up the project.

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At the August 3 Council meeting Mike presented the staff report on the new design and vendor for the project. It was discussed that the vendor would be Fast Signs from Temecula and the cost would be approximately $12,000 to $14,000 for two signs that include solar lighting and installation.

Nancy suggested adding “A Little Bit of Paradise” on the sign in honor of three-term Mayor Mary Craton. It was Mary’s idea to put the saying on the signs four years ago when she was on the City Council that tabled the project.

There also was discussion on whether the signs should say “City of Canyon Lake” or “Canyon Lake.” Of the four Council Members at the meeting, three were in favor of the sign saying “City of Canyon Lake.” Councilman John Zaitz was in favor of the sign saying “Canyon Lake,” and he motioned to approve it that way. The motion was denied for lack of a second motion. The item was continued at the October 12 meeting so that Councilwoman Vicki Warren, who was absent at the earlier meeting, would have an opportunity to vote on the project.

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The new City entryway signs will be located on the medians on Railroad Canyon Rd. at the western and eastern boundaries. photos provided by City of canyon lake

With all five Council Members in attendance, the discussion continued at the October 12 Council meeting. Mike presented renderings of the signs and the Council discussed different options. Councilwoman Vicki Warren made a motioned to have “EST. 1990” added to the signs, which the Council approved.

Mike suggested adding a LED light inside the small acrylic window of the Lighthouse. “The light will fade in and out, giving the appearance that the light is rotating,” says Mike.

Councilwoman Dawn Haggerty motioned to approve the signs as presented, which include the City’s seal, a lighthouse with LED light, and the words “City of Canyon Lake”, “A Little Bit of Paradise,” and “EST. 1990.” Councilwoman Vicki Warren seconded the motion.

Mayor Tim Brown says, “Before last month I might have voted no on this, but new financial projections make me feel more optimistic that we’re going to remain a City and so I’m going to change my attitude and vote yes on this this time.”

The motion passed 4-1 with Councilman John Zaitz voting no.

The total cost for the two signs will be approximately $14,300, which is well under the $30,000 budget. The signs will be installed within the next 60 days on the medians on Railroad Canyon Rd. One sign will be installed near the City’s western boundary (near Canyon Fitness), the other sign near the City’s eastern boundary (near Canyon Lake Community Church).

The signs will be made of polystyrene that’s coated with poly-armor. This material will not crack or deteriorate due to extreme weather conditions. The finish is water, mold, humidity and fade resistant. “It’s extremely difficult to damage. You can take a hammer to this and it will not do any damage at all. It has a special coating on it that protects it from weather over a period of time. This sign will last forever.” says Mike.

The seal on the signs will be made of acrylic. All the lettering on the signs will be raised. The lighthouse will be embossed with a small acrylic window that will have a LED light inside. Solar lighting will be located at the bottom of the signs, facing upward, and efficient enough to light up the sign at night.

Councilwomen Vicki Warren says, “Canyon Lake is a unique and wonderful place to live. I voted for these signs and I’m glad to see this happening after such a long struggle. Canyon Lake truly is a little bit of paradise and I’m excited to know that people traveling on Railroad Canyon Rd. will see the signs for our fair City.”

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Donna Ritchie