RUTLAND — Visitors to the City of Rutland will soon be greeted by new solar-lit welcome signs and flower displays, thanks to a unique collaboration between businesses, non-profits and the City of Rutland, Mayor Chris Louras announced in a release, Monday, Oct. 6.
Work will soon begin to install four “Welcome to Rutland” signs at key gateways on Route 7 North and South, Woodstock Avenue and West Street through a broad partnership between the City, Rutland Redevelopment Authority, Green Mountain Power, local service organizations, Rutland Blooms donors, and nearly a dozen other groups and businesses.
“This project is the epitome of cooperation and community,” Mayor Chris Louras said. “What started as a conversation between the Rutland Redevelopment Authority and GMP has blossomed into a broad partnership that will vastly improve our key city gateways.”
The signs, designed by Greenscreen Graphics, were paid for with contributions to the RRA from the Kiwanis Club of Rutland, Rutland Council 232 Knights of Columbus, Italian-American Club of Rutland, and Rotary Club of Rutland South. Carpenter and Costin designed and will build a large stone flower garden in front of each sign, at cost, which will be paid for with Rutland Blooms donations, with lead sponsorship from Berkshire Bank. GMP is installing solar-powered lights with battery storage, and Garden Time is installing fall decorations, to be followed by winter greenery in late November and a mix of perennials and annuals next spring. The signs will be installed with assistance from Rutland City Schools and the Department of Public Works, and will be maintained by the Rutland City Recreation and Parks Department.
“This is an $18,000 project that’s being built at no cost to the city, with goodwill, collaboration and a spirit of cooperation,” said GMP Vice President Steve Costello. “All these groups came together with two goals in mind: creating pride in the community, and offering a warm welcome to visitors.”
RRA Executive Director Brennan Duffy and Costello started talking about the idea independent of each other last spring and quickly began collaboration with the RRA taking on the role of fundraising for the signs and site logistics. “This long overdue project will make a huge visual impact to visitors entering our City and epitomizes the current optimism and civic pride we all have” Duffy said.