Lack of sign / monument at Girard Industrial Park (Girard, Kansas) causes confusion and is missed branding and marketing opportunity

[GBP Note:  This article basically covers who will pay for a sign on the highway west of Girard, Kansas.  Discussion is how to divide up the estimated $10 - 12,000 cost of a sign between a major tenant, the city and the county.  This is interesting because satellite imagery shows less than a dozen tenants in the park but the real problem may have to do with the fact that there is no connection of Apicoway and Enterprise Drive within the park.   A visitor may turn down one road by mistake and then realize they have to go back out on the highway to get to the other street.

In such a small park, if the streets connected a map or directory may not be necessary but the point of the signage goes beyond identifying the right place to turn.  A sign or monument is a branding and marketing opportunity for the city of Girard to attract additional tenants to their industrial park.  In fact, the article quotes Commissioner Carl Wood as saying "It's the Girard business park."   Again, for a small park such as this, which also looks to be the only industrial area outside the small town of less than 3,000,  whether it is labeled an industrial park or business park may not matter to the residents but the name, signage and logo can become a rallying point to better promote the park and the tenants inside.  A well designed sign / monument with nice landscaping can also build a sense of pride for the tenants as they promote their businesses.]

County talks industrial park sign

Posted Mar. 22, 2014 @ 9:19 am

Pittsburg, Kan.

GIRARD — It’s amazing the clarity that comes with a simple sign. That’s exactly what is on the mind of those in the industrial park just west of Girard.

Ron Graber, Heartland Rural Electric member services and communication specialist, came before the Crawford County Commission to tell about the need for a sign to help a number of people in the industrial park.

“I’ve been talking with the sheriff. He and I have the same problem. People sometimes have a problem finding our office in the industrial park. There’s no good sign out at the road to find,” Graber said.

Graber said that the sheriff’s office does have big letters on the side of the building, but that can be hard to see by the road. Likewise, Heartland has a sign, but it’s not readily visible from the road.

“I just want a decent industrial park sign out by the road. I’ve approached Girard. I’m asking them to put money into it. I’m wondering if the county would put some money into it,” Graber said.

The cost for such a sign has been estimated in the “$10,000-$12,000 ballpark,” Graber said. He had also drawn up a preliminary version of the sign, with space for four businesses on it.

“I don’t know if it’d be taller or wider. Since it’s by the state highway, I’m sure there are some line of sight restrictions,” Graber said. “I just thought something with brick and panels would be nice.”

Of course, the cost of such a sign doesn’t come out of thin air. Graber proposed both Heartland Rural Electric and the City of Girard putting in about $4,000, and the county putting in another $6,000. The reason for the higher portion for the county is that Graber felt that most traffic goes to the sheriff’s department, and an EMS station is also in the industrial park.

However, county commissioners didn’t quite agree with that assessment.

“There’s no reason to put the ambulance station on [the sign],” said Commissioner Bob Kmiec.

“Usually people aren’t going there,” said County Counselor Jim Emerson.

No final decision was made on Friday, but the commissioners were asked by Graber to give some sort of early indicator that he could take to the Girard City Commission on Monday.

Commissioners debated the issue briefly, with a few objections being made by Commissioner Carl Wood.

“I don’t mind giving some. Us kicking in more than other ones, I have a little problem with that. I don’t want to start a trend,” Wood said. “I’ve got to wrap myself around this. It’s the Girard business park. As of right now, I’m going to think about it.”

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