By MIKE COURSON
Great Bend Post
What began as an idea to update the sign on the western side of Ellinwood has turned into something a little more. Ellinwood Rotarian Justin Lear said the group was looking for a community service project and the sign at the "Y" was a good candidate. The project has evolved into purchasing an electronic billboard for the main intersection within Ellinwood city limits.
"What we'd like to do is put in a 6x8 (foot) electric sign with good enough visibility that we can do some imagery and well as wording on that," Lear said. "It'll be on the southeast side of the intersection where the stoplight is here in Ellinwood."
Rotary contacted American Legion Post 320 about putting the sign on their property. The Ellinwood Chamber would handle maintenance and booking for the sign. The goal would be to maximize visibility for all passersby through the intersection. An unofficial sign committee was created with members from Rotary, the Legion, and the Ellinwood Chamber of Commerce with Lear as the de facto head of the group. Now the fundraising begins.
"We set a goal for the project to raise $50,000," said Lear. "We expect the sign to cost about $30,000. In our research, we found that electric signs have a limited lifespan and they also require some maintenance along the way. We didn't want to raise money for a sign, dump it on the chamber, and have a sign that, two or three years down the road, had to have some maintenance and they didn't have money for it."
Businesses that make a certain donation toward the purchase will be rewarded with advertising on the sign over the next two years. Anyone interested in making a contribution can contact the Ellinwood Chamber of Commerce at 110 1/2 N. Main in Ellinwood, or by calling (620) 564-3300.