KINGSBURG – When visitors come through town, they will eventually get help navigating key sites thanks to new signs being considered by the Economic Development Committee during its Sept. 7 meeting.

New signs are being considered after planning experts with the Community Planning Assistance Team gave Kingsburg economic leaders a number of suggestions in April of this year to help bring business to town.

The CPAT team included City Planner Robert Paternoster, Economic Director Michael Dozier, Urban Designer Tom Ford, Urban and Economics Planner Stan Hoffman, Senior Graphic Designer Emily Morishita and Sustainable Land-Use Planner Cynthia de la Torre.

Local EDC Coordinator Jolene Polyack is tackling CPAT’s suggestions one at a time, and as streamlining and updating signage in town is one of the more manageable, that’s what was discussed at the meeting.

Morishita’s specific suggestions were to replace some of the signs that are either difficult to read, faded or ill-placed and update them with signs that have uniform logos, lettering and coloring to direct traffic from Highway 99 to various locations throughout town.

“What you have is what a lot of cities have,” she said at the initial meetings. “New signs have been added, but old signs remain. Really, what we’re looking at is how to refresh the look and make it look cohesive.”

Morishita suggested more signs be added on Highway 99 to direct travelers to Kingsburg and a large gateway arch that would mark the entryway to the area.

At the Sept. 7 meeting, EDC members thumbed through some initial design concepts and said they’ll likely give the community a chance to vote on their preferences.

Some of the designs include dala horses and color schemes with blue, red and yellow. Others have maps and some include areas where community activities could be highlighted to alert visitors.

“We need to clarify where some of these signs are going to go,” EDC chair Steve Safarjian said.

He added that he would like to see a more substantial landmark help designate the entrance to the downtown area as well.

The EDC has also re-established membership with the California Association of Buses to bring more tours and visitors through town.

Besides considering new signage, the EDC also had more discussions at the meeting about building a sports complex in town. 

 City Manager Alex Henderson said that input is being gathered from various youth athletic groups as to the scope and facilities each would like to see at such a facility.

Similar discussions have taken place in the past, and while minutes from those meetings were reviewed, Steve Safarjian said the plans decades ago grew unwieldy and never came to fruition.

“Going back 25 years ago, we got too greedy,” he said of discussions then that included a new pool, gymnasium and buildings for health-related classes.

Now, while funding is still a large consideration, the goal is to keep any such complex to a more manageable level and look at property already owned by the city.

Another sports complex planning meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Sept. 21. City Engineer Dave Peters will develop layouts for five to 40-acre parks to take into consideration.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2427 or lbrown@selmaenterprise.com.

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