A plan to construct welcome signs at major entry ways into Columbia County is under way, but those signs might cost more than initially expected.
The Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau recently authorized spending up to $3,000 to build signs on Stevens Creek and Wheeler roads at the county line.
However, during a subsequent meeting, the CVB board learned they might need much more.
Jennifer Bowen, of the Augusta CVB, worked on Richmond County's sign campaign and recently told Columbia County CVB board members that some of the signs cost as much as $10,000.
Based on that information, CVB Executive Director Beda Johnson said the board likely will decide to take a long-range approach to the county's sign campaign.
"I don't think we need to be slapping something up just to get it done," Johnson said.
"I think we need to take our time and design something that is really going to showcase Columbia County in the way we want it to."
At least five committees are working on the welcome signs, which were recommended by Judy Randall of Randall Travel Marketing during a presentation earlier this year.
The committees are composed of "stakeholders" as determined by the CVB board, Johnson said.
One committee, charged with identifying funding sources, is exploring public-private partnerships. Another committee is tasked with researching laws and ordinances that would apply to placing the signs.
A location committee already has found 17 spots to place signs, including locations on Washington, Wrightsboro and Furys Ferry roads, and Riverwatch and Jimmy Dyess parkways.
An appearance committee is developing a look for the signs.
Until that work is complete, the executive director said she is unable to estimate a cost.
"We're sort of at a standstill until the design is determined," Johnson said.
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