The welcome sign on Seymour’s east side is not working properly, and the city will no longer maintain the programming of the sign.
Mayor Craig Luedeman signed an agreement recently approved by the Seymour Board of Public Works and Safety for Innovative Stage Solutions, a company based in North Vernon, to maintain the sign’s electronic features.
The one-year contract includes an annual service rate of $6,000 paid by the city. Additional service rates come at $45 per hour, 10 percent on supplied materials with a minimum of $150 invoice per instance.
The contract caps compensation at $16,000 per year. Some of the work includes programming and scheduling lights for holidays throughout the year, monthly inspections and special occasion programming.
Luedeman said Nathan Frey, the city’s engineer, has been programming the sign since construction was completed in November 2014.
He said that work didn’t fall under Frey’s responsibilities, and it was time for the city to make more permanent arrangements for maintenance of the sign moving forward.
“We didn’t put one (maintenance agreement) in place when we put the sign in, and we’re just now putting one in place now,” Luedeman said. “It’s gotten to a point where after so long, you just need somebody that knows lighting, so that’s why I’ve signed the agreement.”
Luedeman said the sign is working, but the signals don’t seem to be responding to the software. The city has plans to change the lighting for holidays, special occasions and other events, and Innovative Stage Solutions will take care of all of the programming for each one, according to the contract.
The company that set up the sign, Rundell Ernstberger Associates in Indianapolis, currently is looking into why the sign isn’t functioning properly.
“They’re examining why it’s not responding to the software, and they will resolve it,” Luedeman said. “We’ve been working on this for a while, and we first thought it was on our end. Come to find out, it was a software issue.”
The sign is a 13-foot wall that features Seymour icons with surrounding landscape. It cost about $1 million but only about $165,000 from local taxpayers.
The sign was the first phase of a much larger gateway project first proposed in 2010 by Luedeman. The second phase of the project recently broke ground and includes transforming an old parking lot and rail yard into a downtown arrival park.