John Healy, Robert Norbin, Kevin Sixbey, Mike Roberts and Jeff Lehman in front of the Jamestown NY Welcome sign drawing. 
 
Kevin Sixbey introduced the day’s program, a presentation of the Centennial Gateway Project. This is an effort led by Rotary, the City of Jamestown and CPL (formerly Clark Patterson Lee). Our club is represented by Mike Roberts, Kevin Sixbey, John Healy, and Ruth Lundin. Jeff Lehman, Director of Public Works, and City Planner Ellen Schadle represent the City and Robert Nordin and Brady Morrison are from CPL.
Mike Roberts began the presentation. Rotary has traditionally had signs at entrances of cities, which invite people to the Rotary meetings, noting the location and time of each meeting. However, for 25 years, there has been conversation about a “gateway” sign, welcoming people to the City of Jamestown. However, it never advanced because there was no location available.
 
In 2019 the Vision Committee recommended the Gateway Sign would be the appropriate “Centennial Project” to give to the City of Jamestown. Jeff Lehman approached Gary Lynn for an easement at the North Main Street entrance to the City and he agreed. CPL worked on the design and together with the City and the Rotary, came up with the design. In December the design was approved by the City Planning Commission and recommended to the City Council, which will meet the end of January.
 
The design is an effort to capture the essence of a city rich in history and building toward the future. It incorporates local materials: metal from the former rail bridge spanning the Chadakoin, wood panels made from the 3rd Street oak trees and city bricks from the streets. When viewing it, the sloping base evokes the Chadakoin and rolling hills of the city. The top panels allude to the city skyline. There will be LED lighting at night and landscaping with native plants around it.  Construction documents are completed and the committee will be going to local contractors and businesses to ask their assistance in bringing it to a reality through donations of materials and labor. The targeted completion is June/July.
 
There will be landscaping all around it and a sidewalk reaching to the City boundary. Since Jamestown now boasts national attractions and businesses, this sign will give people a photo opportunity to show that they visited Jamestown NY, a desirable destination.
The initial cost is estimated at $60,000. Components of this budget will be donated. The big challenge will be fund raising for expenses in addition to the Centennial funds already earmarked. The Rotary will be reaching out to businesses, individuals and foundations to help fund this. The membership is being asked to assist in this effort. Each of us can find a way to help this project become a reality.
 
The City Planning Commission has approved the plan and sent it to the City Council for their review and approval. While waiting for approval, we are working to get the fund raising and material sources located.
 
Jeff Lehman thanked everyone from Rotary who has led this project and kept it on the front burner. Jeff is sure that the community will get behind it. Thanks to the City and CPL for making this possible.
 
There is already a link on the website to make a donation to the Centennial Project.
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