published Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Dayton's downtown sign work almost done

  • photo
    Michael Murphy, left, and Paul Leach, with Phaltless Inc. and Terra-Firma Inc., install stabilizers for the updated traffic signs, which are scheduled for installation this week in Dayton, Tenn.
    Photo by Photo by Kimberly McMillian
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DAYTON, Tenn. — Work to replace traffic and street signs throughout downtown Dayton is close to completion, a MainStreet Dayton design committee member said.

"Stop signs are going up today," Jack White said at the recent group's monthly meeting.

Last year, the group updated the downtown's street signs to make them easier to read, more attractive and to standardize their appearance. The new signs are attached to new black, fluted poles.

Board members agreed the new signs would convey a more unified, historically significant appearance.

Nearly seven years ago, MainStreet Dayton received a state-sponsored Courthouse Revitalization Grant of nearly $1 million to be disbursed over an eight-year period. That grant, funding for which ends next year, has paid for renovations downtown that include a concrete plaza at the Rhea County Courthouse, lampposts with updated merchant flags, crosswalk pavers at intersections, park benches around the courthouse square, landscaping and resealing of downtown parking lots and courthouse tree preservation.

"I think the downtown looks great," MainStreet Chairman Randy Wells said of the projects completed since 2006.

Wells urged board members to evaluate projects that previously were considered or now are unfinished as they consider what still might be completed "in case the [grant] money runs out."

One such project, irrigating the courthouse lawn, had been postponed. Wells said he had received a number of inquiries about it, but that it would be "a huge investment."

Fellow MainStreet Dayton and Rhea County Historical & Genealogical Society board member Justin DeFriese said the historical society had discussed it and deemed it "a mistake" and an unnecessary expense.

In another matter, MainStreet Executive Director Anna Tromanhauser said the annual "Spring Fling," an event highlighting musical entertainers in various genres and dance programs, is scheduled for April 12.

For more information, go to www.mainstreetdayton.org.

Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at kdj424@bellsouth.net.

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