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Hebron 'welcome' signs are a work in progress
HEBRON — A local Boy Scout who began a project last fall to design and install four-foot-high "welcome" signs for the town in order to earn Eagle rank, told selectmen, at their April 22 meeting, that he hopes to complete the project by September, at the latest.
"I hate to say it's been put on the back burner for quite some time," Zane Dustin, of Troop 130, told selectmen, explaining that it's been a huge learning experience.
Dustin said he contacted Mike Spugnardi of Spugnardi Signs in Turner and learned that the price for his custom signs, including materials and installation, could be between $325 to $450 – much lower than Dustin budgeted for.
He said he originally planned for the signs to cost $800 to $1,000, but when he first presented his project to selectmen last fall, it included four signs. Now he plans to only get two signs made, he said, bringing the price down drastically and making it easier to meet his deadline.
Dustin explained he'd like to complete the project by the National Scout Jamboree in July. "To go there as an Eagle would be quite the experience," he said.
He also figured he could raise money for two signs faster than for four, and thought that a sign at each end of town on Route 119, where "most of the traffic comes through," would be most practical.
Dustin presented to selectmen five designs, made by local students, to choose from – a requirement that selectmen agreed in October must be met before the signs are created.
Dustin earned his Life rank in July 2012 and this past February was eligible to be an Eagle Scout. Dustin is currently serving his troop as an assistant senior patrol leader and is training to be a senior patrol leader next year.
In order to become an Eagle, he said, aside from earning badges, he must plan, develop and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to the community.
So he chose to design Hebron's signs – a task he has learned takes a lot of time and effort.
Dustin told selectmen he's planning on the signs having breakaway posts and said Spugnardi agreed to install the signs. "He supplies everything," Dustin explained.
He still has to decide on exact locations, he told selectmen, and get permission from landowners.
"I didn't want to bother them until this was completely sorted out," he said.
Selectman Dan Eichorn told Dustin to anticipate some landowners not agreeing to the signs, explaining he may want to plan for alternative locations.
Dustin said the signs could possibly be cheaper than $450, if the town did not choose gold leaf lettering. He said the student designs are merely templates for more professional-looking signs.
"It's not going to be a picture-perfect model," he said. He also presented the idea of what's called a "textbook" sign, a simpler design which would cost $25 apiece.
"I think 'Welcome to Hebron' and 'Established [in 1792]' is all we really need," said Selectman Jim Reid, during the meeting. He requested Dustin bring a "computer-generated" version of the signs to a future meeting for selectmen to get a better idea of what they'd "really look like."
Eichorn said the town does not currently have the funds to support town signs and is holding off on unnecessary expenditures. Dustin said he planned on raising the money himself, but wasn't positive he'd raise enough in time.
"Any money you can raise is a good idea," Eichorn said. "If you are able to raise money so we [Hebron] don't need to kick anything in, then it's entirely your ballgame as far as when things get done."
Dustin explained the project is only complete until the signs are in the ground and the town approves. While he'd like to have it signed off by Jamboree in July, he agreed that September might be a more realistic deadline.
Dustin will meet with selectmen at a future meeting to give them an update on the project and present the "mock-up" designs for approval.