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Historically speaking neon signs are just that

By GARY EDWARDS The Monitor Staff
Sept. 25, 2012 at 10 p.m.

City council members visited the question of neon signs and their use in the historic district during their regularly scheduled workshop Thursday. It appears they aren't legal though history is on the side of users because they have been in use in Mineola since the 1920s.

With that as background, the Landmark Commission has made a request to the council that they approve an amendment to the current sign ordinance that will make those particular signs legal in the historic district as long as they are located inside a business.

The council was expected to approve the ordinance revision, including size limitations, at their regular meeting Monday, which was too late for the Monitor deadline.

Fire Chief David Madsen also presented another sign issue to the council that involved off premises sandwich board signs on the corners in downtown Mineola and there was discussion involving off-premises signs being attached to lamp posts in an attractive manner that would help give direction to shoppers and visitors in the area.

"We want businesses to be successful and that's one of the considerations," said Lynda Rauscher, community development director.

One of the intents is to remove sandwich boards from the corners. One reason given was for the safety of pedestrians.

Alderman Ken Pearce said he'd like to hear some input from merchants in the area that will be affected.

In other business and during her report to the council Rauscher told them that Main Street is working to make some repairs to the antique lamp posts in downtown Mineola to improve the attractiveness.

Public Works Director Johnny McCoy told the council that the work on Shady Lane was finished and he suggested approving final payment to the contractor for $251,093. McCoy gave a rundown on other projects currently underway, saying that the Freeman Street construction was "moving along" though there have been some delays.

Madsen told the council that there was "an interesting call" regarding a fire that happened recently as a storm system moved through the area.

Mineola was assisting Lindale with a fire when, Madsen said, Quitman was asked to aid Mineola by covering a fire in the Rock Falls area just east of town. Quitman did so and the fire was put out.

The following day Mineola was called out to the same area to check out some "hot spots" in a fire and when they arrived, Madsen said, they found an entirely different home had burned to the ground without anyone in the area knowing it was even on fire.

The assumption was that the fires were both storm and lightning related.



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