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Beautification Commission hopes to make Auburn's gateways more welcoming
Auburn

Beautification Commission hopes to make Auburn's gateways more welcoming

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Auburn's entrances will soon be a little more welcoming thanks to two local nonprofit organizations.

The Auburn Beautification Commission, with funding support from IGNITE: Cayuga County's Young Professionals, plans to add new "Welcome to Auburn" signs at two heavily trafficked gateways into the city.

"The Auburn Beautification Commission strives to do projects around the city to help beautify Auburn," Hilary Ford, vice chair of the commission and a member of IGNITE's steering committee said Monday. "It was brought to our attention that the gateway signs were in bad shape and not very visible, so we decided to do something about it."

The commission drew up plans for a new sign, modeled after one installed at the entrance of Ford's hometown of Paducah, Ky.

It features two brick pillars on either side of the dark blue sign. In raised gold letters "Welcome to Auburn," above the year the city was established, will be prominently displayed.

"We think it helps to keep the historical look that we have throughout the city and still keeps it uniquely Auburn," Ford said.

She said the Beautification Commission originally intended to install only one new sign at the intersection of Lake Avenue and Fleming Street, near Auburn High School.

But the funding from IGNITE will allow for a second sign to be installed on state Route 20 at the city's eastern gateway.

The Empire State Development Corporation's $3,000 grant was awarded through the New York State Urban Council's We Live New York Livable Communities Capacity Grant.

IGNITE used previous awards through the program to spawn a winter celebration this year in downtown Auburn and an initiative to entice young people to vote.

"We were going to install a sign by the high school no matter what," Ford said. "Thankfully, this funding from IGNITE will allow us to do two at once."

Ford estimated the cost of each sign at $6,000. The grant from IGNITE will require a matching amount of funding from the Beautification Commission.

Staff writer Nathan Baker can be reached at 282-2238 or nathan.baker@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @CitizenBaker.

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