by Logan Gruber
One of three signs welcoming visitors to St. Joseph has bitten the dust.
Monday, crews finished the tear-down of the above-ground portion of the sign between CR 75 and Old Hwy 52, on property belonging to Mike Deutz. The sign has been on Deutz’s property since 1996, according to city documents.
In an email Dec. 17, 2014, Deutz’s attorney gave the city 30 days to remove the sign and return the land to its original state. The city council eventually asked Deutz for an extension, which was granted.
The demolition began on March 19 when Artistic Stone and Design in St. Joseph began dismantling the topper and the sign itself. The sign was placed into storage by the city.
“We’re trying to salvage as much as possible,” St. Joseph City Administrator Judy Weyrens said in regards to the demolition.
Crews had to wait to remove the pillars until Monday when gas and electrical lines could be found and marked to ensure safe working conditions.
Deutz said the footings would be removed later in the week. Though Deutz was reached, he preferred not to comment further at this time.
Mayor Rick Schultz mentioned in the past the city may choose to revamp and relocate all of the welcome signs in the city rather than just removing one sign. When asked, Weyrens said adding new signs could be part of the discussion, but it is by no means a certainty or even in the planning stages.
City council members originally worked with multiple groups, including the Lions, to erect signs near the edges of town welcoming visitors. According to public documents, the Lions paid for the sign while the city agreed to maintain the landscaping around it and provide electricity.