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Rotary funds new sign for Grand Forks

Gord Nichols presenting the Rotary club's ideas to council; Photo, Mona Mattei
Grand Forks will be sporting a new welcome sign soon as the city agreed to move forward with the Grand Forks Rotary club volunteers to get the project done.
Gord Nichols, a long-time Rotarian presented their vision for a sign on the west entrance to town to council on Monday night. The suggested new sign design would be a wooden structure with its base in rock or brick masonry welcoming people into town on one side and wishing them happy journeys on the other. At council’s special meeting in August, Rod Korolek had first brought the idea forward for consideration.
“We’ve had discussion over the past two or three years at the club lamenting that there isn’t a good welcoming sign on the west end of Grand Forks. The Sasha sign deteriorated and is gone and has never been replaced,” said Nichols. “Rotary would like to partner with the city in establishing a new sign. We’ve worked on a design concept, we’ve done research on potential partners and contractors, and if there were an advisory committee Rotary would be very happy to sit on the committee."
Two possible locations were proposed by the club – one up by Rilkoff’s store where the old “Sasha” sign had been located (Rotary’s preferred site) and the second across the highway from OK Tire. The Rotary has solicited the help of the Boundary Woodworkers Guild volunteers to build the sign, and so the cost would only be $20,000 to 30,000 – the cost of materials – and the club is offering to help fund it. The sign will be 12 feet high and 10 feet wide.
The Grand Forks Credit Union also stepped forward as a potential contributing donor depending on how the project unfolds in exchange for recognition on the sign along with the Rotary’s logo.
Councillor Christine Thompson supported the club’s offer, but asked if the design could be developed in a more open process.
“This is our initial proposal, it certainly is not a take it or leave it offer,” Nichols agreed. “If something else came forward we would definitely consider it.”

Council agreed to support the project with the development of a committee for design and location guidance.