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The Lake News Online
  • Westside sign campaign underway

  • Fundraising efforts have officially kicked off for a Lake of the Ozarks West Side sign that is one of multiple projects sparked through the city of Laurie's enhancement committee.
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  • Fundraising efforts have officially kicked off for a Lake of the Ozarks West Side sign that is one of multiple projects sparked through the city of Laurie's enhancement committee.
    The sign has been in the planning stages for some time and will be a Hollywood-style sign similar to the Lake of the Ozarks sign along Highway 54 near Lake Ozark.
    On Tuesday, a small group met at the sign location along Highway 5 in front of the Shrine of St. Patrick Catholic Church on the north side of town to see how two of the letters looked and to announce the beginning of fundraising to install the sign.
    A committee consisting of Mark Shellenberg, Dr. Frank Ferguson and Bob Forbes are handling the fundraising.
    "I think this is great for the Westside. We have a friendly, hometown feel, and we embrace that. This sign is not what makes this the Westside, but we're proud of our Westside. I think this sign will help show that," Forbes said.
    Laurie aldermen have endorsed the project, but the sign is being paid for entirely through donations. City funds are not being expended on it.
    In addition to the large letters, the sign will have LED programmable "wall washers" — which can reflect different color lights onto the lettering — and a dark green four-foot deep concrete base.
    Mayor Herb Keck estimated the monetary retail cost of the project at $30,000-$40,000, but the committee will also accept in-kind donations of excavation, concrete or electrical hookup work.
    "It is an expensive project, but it's going to designate the Westside. Between the sign and the work they're going to do at the triangle, it will really enhance the way it looks when you come into town," Forbes said.
    As a member of the enhancement committee, Laurie Alderwoman Karen Dobbins also announced the start-up of the Business Beautification of the Month Award.
    A group of people from the community will be invited to judge the contest every month from May to December. The panel of judges will view city businesses before the first of the month to determine the winner. The winning business will receive a yard sign announcing the award and will be recognized by the Laurie Board of Aldermen at the regular monthly meeting for their beautification efforts.
    Dobbins encourages businesses and residents to participate in the upcoming Friends of Laurie Day by sprucing up around their properties. On Friends of Laurie Day April 26, volunteers will also be cleaning up at both city parks and along highway right of way in conjunction with the Lake Road Clean Up sponsored by the Lake West Chamber of Commerce.

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