Published on Times News Online ( http://www.tnonline.com )
By Mirna P. Gledhill Tn Correspondenttneditor@tnonline.com
Motorists should have no question where they are when passing through Lansford Borough, thanks to three new entrance signs that were unveiled this week.
The brand new entrance signs for the borough were erected recently, giving motorists a clear indication that they’re in the borough.
The signs were purchased by the non-profit group Lansford Alive, with grants from the Lehigh Valley Chamber Foundation and the Carbon County Economic Development Corporation.
The new signs are made out of durable materials that Lansford Alive officials hope will last for two decades. Done in the town’s traditional red and white colors, the signs feature the date of the town’s founding, as well as a coal car to represent the town’s mining heritage, Lansford Alive President Chris Ondrus said.
The borough’s three entrance signs were about 15 years old when one of them fell during a winter storm about a year ago. Ondrus said that since that time there have been plenty of questions from residents about what happened to the sign, and a Facebook post about it got more than 3,000 views.
“Aw geez, anything from there was graffiti on the signs, people called the borough office wondering why the signs weren’t up, people drove through town and didn’t know what town they were in,” Ondrus said. “We had quite a few curious people.”
Rather than replace just one of the aging signs, the non-profit decided to look into grants to replace all three. With the help of the Carbon County Economic Development Corporation, the group applied to the Lehigh Valley Chamber Foundation’s Main Street Program, and received $2,000. Lansford Alive had to match the grant by at least 50 percent, or $1,000 which they did. The Foundation’s Lorie Reinert said that the program helps create a sense of community in areas around the Lehigh Valley and beyond.
“You can really tell someone cares when you pass through — there must be some sort of organization that they want it to be real nice for people — signs that they care,” Reinert said.
That’s exactly what Lansford Alive has set out to do since it was founded. The non-profit has two goals, according to Ondrus, promoting downtown businesses, and beautifying the town.
Marlyn Kissner of the Carbon County Economic Development Corporation acts as a liasion between Carbon County communities and the Foundation. She said in just three years, Lansford and Weatherly have benefitted from the program. But she would like to see other communities apply for grants to fund projects that beautify their town. She cited examples like bike racks, banners, and trash receptacles.
“Other areas in Carbon County, I would want them to see this and say, ‘Wow how can we apply for this Main St. Lehigh Valley grant for next spring. Lansford has been a really good pilot for us, so other communities can apply and benefit from the foundation,” she said.