Slight change made in town signs

Three new entrance signs now welcome visitors to the Town of Great Falls. The purchase and installation of the signs was approved by Great Falls Town Council at an estimated cost of $14,000. But a change in the stone may bring the total cost to less than the amount approved by council in April. Councilman Kenny Mobley spearheaded the project. He said the company did not have enough flagstone rock in stock to complete the three signs.

He said the bid and design included flagstone but flat stone was used instead. Mayor Don Camp estimated the flagstone for the signs would cost about $1,900. “Honestly, these (flat stone) look more like Great Falls than the others do,” Mobley said. “It gives a little more natural look like the river.”

Mobley said the labor to place the flat stone was not as expensive as it was to place the flagstone. Town Clerk Julie Blackwell said the town paid Rapid Signs of Lancaster $9,966 for mortar, sand, the foundation and labor to construct the signs. An additional $1,037 was paid to Carolina Fresh Farms of Columbia for the stone, bringing the cost to date to $11,003. Rapid Signs was the only corporation to submit a bid for the signs. Their proposal was for three 1/2″ aluminum core signs with eight-year outdoor vinyl lettering and included brackets at a cost of $2,475. Installation was set at $585. Tax came to $198 for a cost of $3,258. The second sheet of the proposal showed labor at $6,750, sand, concrete and mortar mix costing $1,350 and tax at $108 for a cost of $8,208. Camp estimated flagstone on the signs would cost an additional $1,900 and bring the total cost for the three signs to $13,366.

Blackwell said landscaping around the sign on U.S. Highway 21/S.C. Highway 200 was completed by Thomas Nursery. She said the town will incur the cost of landscaping for the signs on Chester Avenue near Trinity Baptist Church and on Chester Avenue near Greenlawn Cemetery.

Mobley said he does not have an estimate for the landscaping. Lighting for the signs is also needed, Blackwell said. She said Duke Energy will install a power pole for lighting the sign near the industrial park. She said she does not know what the final cost of the signs will be. Mobley said the signs will be lit by spotlights on the ground. He said Duke Energy will install another power pole at the industrial park and the town will run an underground line to the sign. He said the other signs already have power poles nearby. Underground lines will be placed there also, he said. Mobley said the power poles should not cost the town anything. He said he thinks Duke will install the poles as if they were street light poles.

According to Blackwell, $4,000 from a years-old special account containing leftover money from a Community Development Block Grant used to beautify the town will be used to help pay for the signs. The remaining $10,000 will be pulled from the sanitation department’s budget. Money was set aside in last year’s budget for the payment of a limb truck but council did not realize it and thought the money would have to come from this year’s budget. The reveal allowed council to use the money to pay for the signs.