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Repair or not? Fate of Flowery Branch welcome sign to be determined
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The fate of a longtime digital sign announcing Flowery Branch at I-985 is up in the air as council members debate whether to repair it or put up another "gateway" sign. - photo by Scott Rogers

The brick-and-stone sign may be firmly planted in the ground, but the fate of Flowery Branch’s longtime welcome sign off Spout Springs Road is up in the air.

Flowery Branch is looking at spending some $40,000 into upgrading the digital message board, which, when it worked, greeted drivers coming off Interstate 985 with information about festivals and other public events.

But when the topic came up at the Flowery Branch City Council meeting Thursday, June 3, council members had a different take.

“If it’s working, how many people get to see it? And is that the best place for it,” Councilman Ed Asbridge said. “I just have questions about the whole sign (issue).”

The council voted to table the matter until the next meeting on June 17 to give city staft time to explore other angles, including checking with a company that has been tapped by the city to put up public signs around the city.

Interim City Manager Vickie Short said she could check with the company “to see what a true gateway sign could be.”

“There’s a question in my mind as to (whether) we need it,” Asbridge said, “and I don’t know that we’ll know a whole lot in two weeks.”

“I do agree it’s not a great location,” Short said.

The sign, which contains the city’s name and its flowery logo and declares “Home of the Falcons,” has stood on the property near Stonebridge Village shopping center since 2008.

At 12 feet high, 18 feet wide and 3 feet thick, the sign cost $37,211, with the Atlanta Falcons donating $32,000, according to a 2008 story in The Times.

The city scouted out several locations for the sign, including Thurmon Tanner Parkway and Phil Niekro Boulevard, said James Riker, the city’s planning director at the time.

When Stonebridge Village began “to evolve as a real project, the city decided to abandon other locations we were considering and started working with the developer there to construct a sign in that center,” Riker said.

Stonebridge was “receptive to (having the sign on its property) provided it was designed with consistent materials similar to the signs that exist for the center,” Riker said.