Up in lights: Downtown Carson City has high-tech sign | NevadaAppeal.com

Up in lights: Downtown Carson City has high-tech sign

John Barrette
Roger Moellendorf, parks and recreation director, Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell,Stan Jones, former chairman of the chamber of commerce and Mitch Ames, recreation operations manager, cut the ribbon for the Carson Community Center sign on Wednesday.
Shannon Litz/slitz@nevadaappeal.com | Nevada Appeal

The new events sign at the Community Center is a high-tech face for Carson City, Mayor Robert Crowell said during a ceremony Wednesday.

The modern, computerized sign relying on LED lighting features messages that change periodically. It drew praise from people at the podium and in the crowd of about 50 attending the afternoon ceremony, which was conducted amid the warm glow of autumnal sun and a glass or two of bubbly for anyone ready to imbibe. As he thanked sign supporters, Crowell took note of the latter bit of effervescence.

“I know you’ve all got a glass of champagne,” he said, asking everyone on hand to join in a toast. He punctuated his request with a one-word exclamation point. “Cheers!”

Stan Jones, past chairman of the city’s Chamber of Commerce, was on hand to join the mayor in thanking those involved in getting the old sign torn down and replaced. Despite that, he had a few words for what he called a lack of support by some in city government for the project he championed. He called it frustrating but didn’t name those he had in mind.

After his appearance, he declined to be more specific but said he wished it hadn’t taken 16 months to reach Wednesday’s ceremony.

City Parks and Recreation Department Director Roger Moellendorf said tearing down the old sign, which could only be changed manually, represented “the last vestiges of the ’70s” fading away for Carson City. He also said with a smile that he “kind of visualized that we would have videos of car crashes” on the new sign, which can change messages every five seconds for passing drivers, but joked he had been overruled.

Moellendorf thanked Ronni Hannaman, executive director of the chamber, for helping shepherd the project and finding donors to help leverage redevelopment funding to get the sign changed at a cost of more than $100,000. He said that without her, “the sign wouldn’t be here.”

The new sign just north of the center, which is on William Street near Roop Street, will help reach the public about events and community announcements and provide necessary information during emergencies.

“I’m excited that we’re now going to be able to communicate adequately with the public,” Moellendorf said.