Hudson: signage can be built once Chamber gets land donations

The plans are made, the money has been set aside but the Polk County Chamber of Commerce finds themselves stifled by one big problem when it comes to putting up new signage welcoming visitors of all kinds to the area.

Where to put the signs?

Executive Director Tamaka Hudson said during a recent meeting of the Chamber’s business development committee that they have plenty of good ideas of where they want to place the signs, but finding willing property owners to participate and donate land is what’s keeping the project from moving forward.

“We can’t get permission from the (Georgia) Department of Transportation for this because they won’t allow any kind of signage in their right of way other than specific kinds of signage,” she said.

Previous meetings with officials from GDOT yielded no results even though they were enthusiastic about the idea, Hudson said.

So the Chamber went to property owners next, she explained, to find that though they too were in love with the idea, the problem has been finding someone willing to donate such a small portion of land.

The signage – first conceived in the latest form in 2014, and funds set aside for it in 2015 of upward of $50,000 – requires 75 square feet of land to sit on in a permanent structure.

“What we need is someone who is willing to give over that small a portion of the their land as a donation for us to put the sign on, and no more than that,” she said.

The project is also included in the Blueprint Polk 2020 strategic plan to improve transportation gateways and corridors.

Funds will be used toward the first tiers of the project - large gateway signs.

The second tier includes smaller county and city information signs that direct visitors and residents to major landmarks and attractions.

Hudson said the new signs would replace those currently displayed. More information than “where folks are friendly” will be shown, including identification of Polk and its cities.

Those who are interested in helping out with a land donation near the county lines on Highways 27, 278, 113, and 101 can contact Hudson at the Chamber of Commerce at 770-684-8760.