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FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2007
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Parks and Recreation board discusses adding LED signs

By Catherine Godbey
cgodbey@decaturdaily.com · 340-2441

The electronic age, which boomed in Silicon Valley 20 years ago, is sweeping through Decatur. It started in June with the installation of an electronic sign at Point Mallard Park. Now it is extending west across the city.

On Thursday, the Parks and Recreation board discussed the addition of two LED signs at city parks. Jeff Dunlap, Parks and Recreation director, said Wilson Morgan Park and Ingalls Harbor will receive the LED signs, tentatively set for installation by the end of September.

The signs, which will border Alabama 20 and Beltline Road Southwest, will attract the attention of both residents and tourists.

With Ingalls Harbor scheduled to host eight tournaments in 2008, the LED signs will inform visitors to Decatur of upcoming attractions. The sign will include information concerning events associated with parks and recreation, the harbor and the city.

“It (the sign) may possibly include directions for downtown,” Dunlap said. “The mayor (Don Kyle) really wanted to get something over there that can give people some kind of directions to downtown.”

As Decatur’s reputation as a desirable city to host tournaments increases, so does the parks department’s efforts to expose visitors to the entire city. Directing tourists to other city attractions via the LED sign will help disperse the business tourism brings throughout Decatur.

While the sign at Ingalls Harbor will appeal to tourists, the sign at Wilson Morgan will target residents. The LED sign there will replace the current information board. Dunlap recognizes the benefits of advertising city events on the Beltline.

“This will be good,” Dunlap said, “because that’s a hot area to really get information out.”

The department hopes that placing the LED signs on the busiest roads in the city will result in an increased knowledge, and attendance, in city events.

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