Posted February 10, 2015 at 9:28 PM Updated February 10, 2015 at 10:21 PM
TOWN OF WALLKILL - As part of its continuing push to stamp its identity on the minds of residents, folks throughout the region and anyone who happens to drive through, the town is redoing about 800 street signs, and the public has a chance to get in on the action.
Starting immediately, the town is replacing its green-and-white street signs with brown-and-white ones, and on Tuesday, Wallkill's supervisor unveiled the town’s “Purchase a Street Sign” campaign. That buy-in opportunity, which Supervisor Dan Depew calls unique in New York state, could net the town about $4,000.
Here’s how it works: If you want one of the old green-and-white signs, you pay $30 and it will be delivered to your house. As the town’s website puts it, "Once a GREEN sign is purchased, the Town will replace the street sign with the new BROWN sign and deliver the sign you purchased to your home within fifteen (15) days.” “Act fast,” the website says. “There are a limited amount of street signs available!” You can buy your sign on the town website: www.townofwallkill.com.The offer is open only to town residents. The first sign was purchased by the town’s public works director, Lou Ingrassia Jr., who bought the “Ingrassia Road” sign. The road that bears his family’s name runs between routes 211 and 17M in the southwest corner of the town. Depew said the order will go in for Ingrassia’s sign as soon as his check arrives in the office. Depew figures there will be 800 signs available, since they’ll be re-signing about 400 roads and there are generally two signs per road. If two residents want to buy the same sign, Depew said, it’s first-come, first-served, and the town will mediate any disputes.The idea behind the new signs, Depew said, is for the public to “know where they are at all times” – that’s in the Town of Wallkill. That identity campaign, which Depew started in 2012, is a tough road to travel because the town, at 64 square miles, has five postal zones and many of the addresses bear “Middletown” designations. The town is split among five school districts.As part of that identity campaign, the town has set up welcome signs on Route 211 in the retail corridor and marked off its two-mile, East Main Street "medical corridor.” The signs bear the town logo: “Where happy babies are born,” as will the new street signs. The town has also set up an electronic welcome sign on Route 17.Depew said it’s all part of a push to make the town more “high-end” and attractive to residents and businesses. He said the town will also be removing and refurbishing its 20 historical marker signs. He said the oldest historical marker sign was installed in 1932. Depew said each of the new, brown-and-white signs will cost about $25, so it will cost roughly $20,000 to replace all 800. The town won’t be doing signs on state and county roads, by the way. So, if they sell 800 old signs at $30 each, that comes to about $24,000 – a $4,000 profit. Depew knows exactly what he’d like to do with that $4,000 – put it toward the town’s budget for road salt, which has been strained by the seemingly endless episodes of snow, sleet, ice and freezing rain we’ve had this winter.