Observant motorists may have noticed a new, rotating message on the electronic billboards as they cross the Grand Glaize Beach in Osage Beach. At least the city hopes the message is being seen.
The board of aldermen last month decided that using the electronic billboards at each end of the bridge was better than nothing since preferred billboard locations at each end of the city are not available. The intent is to alert visitors and local residents that the Osage Beach business district can be accessed at the next exit, or the next, or the next.
The board is expected Thursday night during its regular meeting to authorize Mayor Penny Lyons to executive a contract with Lamar Companies to lease time on the eastbound and westbound electronic signs through Oct. 6. The no-frills message announces the number of Osage Beach Business Districts that are ahead.
Cost of the messages is $1,500 per board from April 22 through Oct. 6 for a total of $18,000. The money will be paid from the Economic Development/Osage Beach Welcome Sign fund.
The decision to lease the signs came at the regular meeting April 18 as one way for the city to help encourage motorists to exit the Highway 54 Expressway into the business district. Business owners, property owners and others have expressed concerns numerous times over the last year about the decline in business along Osage Beach Parkway ― especially west of the Grand Glaize Bridge ― and the lack of signage that announces the Osage Beach Business District.
Aldermen, with the help of Lamar Companies officials, researched the best possible signs at each end of the city to promote Osage Beach business in general. However, the best signs are currently under contract with other vendors. The city has put its name on the list for back-up contracts when signs become available.
Aldermen also have discussed being more creative with the messages, but wanted first to activate the simpler signs.