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New trustee, and entrance signs, for South Elgin

This image shows whplanned new South Elgentryway signs would look like. | Submitted

This image shows what the planned new South Elgin entryway signs would look like. | Submitted

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Updated: January 5, 2014 6:33AM

SOUTH ELGIN — The village board voted this week to bring Scott Richmond back as a trustee and approved concept designs for new village gateway monuments.

Richmond was tapped to replace the seat vacated by Steve Ward when Ward took over the village president’s job.

The board changes were part of the domino effect caused by the Nov. 1 death of Jim Hansen, the longtime village president. Ward was named to Hansen’s seat and sworn in as the new village president at the Nov. 18 meeting.

Richmond will be sworn in at the Dec. 16 village board meeting.

Richmond had served on the village board for two terms. He was not re-elected in the last elections in April. With 485 votes, Richmond had come in fourth place for the three open seats.

Quarry roots

The board also approved designs for new monument signs, planned to go up at eight village entrance points.

The South Elgin Economic Development committee has been looking at designs for the past year, said Greg Leisure, SEED president.

The first designs used a rusted steel design meant to evoke the Fox River and the town’s working-class roots.

South Elgin trustees, however, said they found the signs too modern and wanted ones to evoke the limestone taken from village quarries.

The SEED board found the right design this time, said Trustee Mike Kolodziej.

“The first design … we hated it,” Kolodziej said. “You bounced back nicely and created a product that was significantly better.”

Total cost for the project is $158,000, Leisure said, adding that the SEED committee hoped to find much of the funding from grants and community donors.

Plans are to replace signs at the eight key entry points as the funding becomes available to build the signs. Most of the locations have nearby power so they can be lit at night, said Megan Golden, of the village’s community development department.

However, they also are looking at the possibility of using solar power to light the signs, added Jim Reuter, parks and recreation director.

The first sign likely will go up on Spring Street west of McLean Boulevard, where the street name changes from Hopps Road in Elgin to Spring Street in South Elgin, Leisure said.

Other signs will be placed on Route 31, Randall Road, McLean Boulevard and Route 25 as the funding is available, Leisure said.

The signs were built with arms that can hang banners, announcing upcoming village events, he added.

“Our goals of the signage project is to further enhance our strategy of building the brand of South Elgin, identify the key gateways to South Elgin, and promote a positive image of the village,” he said.

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