Carefree approves $24,000 more for signs

By Curtis Riggs | October 8, 2008

Easy Street upgrades still $60,000 under budget
CAREFREE – Town Council approved a change order on Tuesday for over $24,000 for four Town Center directional signs.

The vote was 6-1, with Councilman Bob Coady dissenting, to award an additional $24,208 to Precise Signs to finish the signs, which will hang from posts resembling mini-sundials. In August the council allocated $55,000 for the signs, designed to help visitors find the Easy Street shopping district and indicate what the district offers.

The installation of the signs is the final downtown upgrade the council approved this year. The signs will be installed at Wampum Way and Lucky Lane on Tom Darlington and Hum Road and Carefree Drive off of Cave Creek Road.

The change order approved Tuesday will allow an increase of the height of the sign posts from seven to 10 feet and the lettering to three and a half inches, enabling drivers to more easily see them as they go by.

Coady said he was “very upset” about the change order when casting his no vote.

“I voted for them at the last meeting and was assured that would be the cost of the signs,” he said. “Another $24,000 brings the cost up to $80,000; that’s an awful lot of money.”

Mayor Wayne Fulcher countered the signs must be effective if they are to work as planned.
“If we don’t spend the money, the signs won’t be readable and they won’t work,” he said. “No one wants to spend the money, but we have to make them effective.”

Councilman Bob Gemmill said the signs are like everything else – they have to be effective to work.

“They will keep people from driving down into Cave Creek,” he said. He thinks that happens when people can’t find Easy Street shops.

The change order for the signs brings the cost of this year’s downtown renovation to $340,000, which is $60,000 less than was budgeted. The new pedestrian lighting cost $162,000 and the right-turn lanes cost $100,000.

After the meeting, Coady said he opposed the change order because the stagnant economy, “dictates we be as conservative in our spending as possible.

“We were given a price for these signs only a month ago.”