The Graham City Council approved new signs directing highway passers-by to Graham's various tourist attractions.

“There are a lot of people, that at that decision point of 380 and 67, who make the decision to keep on going, not knowing what they're missing,” said Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Jennifer Conway at the June 5 city council meeting. “So, we want to ensure that they have that signage there that gives them a second chance to decide to come on in town.”

The council's decision allows the Chamber/CVB to establish a design and seek approval from TxDOT. Further council approval will then be required to finalize the project once a budget has been established. 

Conway told city council that numerous local civic groups and businesses have already shown support for such signage. 

Joining Conway in the presentation was Texas Department of Transportation area engineer Zach Husen, who explained that TxDOT has certain criteria that must be met before it allows signs to be placed along the roadways it manages, including font size, style and color. 

The city would be responsible for all costs related to production, installation and maintenance of signs. 

Conway referenced two other Texas towns that have undertaken similar projects; Elgin and Bastrop. Both municipalities west of Austin have completed signage projects, but each was vastly different in scope. 

“This can be as big or as little as you like,” explained Conway.

Bastrop executed a large-scale project that included six types of signs, cost $150,000 and required budget allowances for a consultant to design the signs to TxDOT specs. The project included signs that announce “you are here” on its downtown square, directional signs on highways and fabric banners for light poles. 

On the other side of the scale, Elgin completed a project in-house that cost $21,500 for signs directing highway traffic to local attractions. They are less ornate but include a decorative topper with the city's logo. 

Elgin Chamber of Commerce President Gena Carter said the signs were effective at driving more traffic into the town.

Read the entire story in this weekend's Graham Leader.