The thing about life in a small town is that people take things slow. Few things have gone as slow as the effort to get a welcome sign put in place.
The plan for a large, attractive sign -- not too unlike the one that greets those coming into Somerset on East Ky. 80 -- has been discussed for about a year and a half now, and still, no sign. But the events of Monday's August meeting of the Burnside City Council have Mayor Robert Lawson saying that the sign is "on its way" to finally becoming a reality.
Waits for state approval on placement sites, finding the right design and contractor, and requests by the city council to consider aspects of the project have all contributed to the delay. But it's been a long time coming. Even back at a January city council meeting, Lawson said that the north sign -- two are planned to be erected -- would "probably happen sometime this year."
Well, that appears to be what will happen, even though the year will nearly be over. The current time frame has the north sign being completed by the third week of October. It will be located on South U.S. 27 near the entrance to Lakeview Drive and Guthrie's Grill, where the Burnside City Limits had been before annexing further north along the highway.
On Monday, the council approved agreed to accept the bid of company Secure Structure from Somerset, and owner Jon-Brent Bernard, for $11,500 (discussed by the council was the possibility of an extra $1,000 "buffer" in case it was needed to complete the project). Conditions were added that Secure Structure do both sign for the same price, that they receive payment at completion, and that the sign is ready by the October time frame
The location for the second sign, which would be on the other side of downtown Burnside as drivers enter from the south, at U.S. 27 and Antioch Road, has not yet been approved by the state, noted Lawson. That must happen before the sign can be erected.
The design would a mention of "Historic Burnside, est. 1890" on a large horizontal sign with an arc over the top with the word "welcome" on it. The sign would be part stone, part wood, and was rendered by Deco Artchitects.
Perhaps the spirit of trying to get a project of this scope done was best summed up by councilor Dwayne Sellers at the meeting, who said, "Everything costs you more and takes longer than you ever planned it."
At least now, Burnside knows when it will get its welcome sign, and how much it will take to make it happen.