Mundelein board delays plan to buy gateway signs

  • This is the design for Mundelein's proposed gateway signs.

    This is the design for Mundelein's proposed gateway signs. Courtesy of Mundelein

  • Mundelein officials may replace old gateway signs like this one.

    Mundelein officials may replace old gateway signs like this one. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer 2017

Posted4/10/2018 5:33 AM

Mundelein trustees on Monday argued about a plan to purchase new gateway signs for the village and then ultimately delayed a decision.

The village board had been set to approve a $122,590 contract with a Sugar Grove company called Quantum Sign Corp. to build and install two gateway signs on the village's south side and an electronic message board outside the police station at 221 N. Lake St.


Under the plan, seven more signs for additional spots in the village could be purchased as money became available, officials said.

But the proposal was tabled Monday because several trustees wanted to investigate the potential financial benefits of buying all 10 signs now rather than spreading the purchases out over time.

Trustee Scott Black pushed for buying all the signs now using village savings, calling the purchase an investment.

Trustee Dawn Abernathy strongly opposed that idea, saying the board should be spending money improving the downtown area and not on gateway signs.

Abernathy called the signs "a luxury we can't afford."

"These signs are not necessary right now," Abernathy said.

As the discussion continued, Abernathy suggested the money to buy the signs could come from the "fire truck we just sold," a reference to the board's controversial decision in February to sell a ladder truck to an agency in Kentucky.

Mayor Steve Lentz admonished Abernathy for the comment, calling it "inappropriate."

Mundelein has six gateway signs now at various spots. They're made of wood and are deteriorating.

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The signs being considered would be made of stone and metal, and they would include the village's name and its star-shaped logo.

As for the police station sign, officials have said an electronic message board could be used to share public safety messages, such as reminders about anti-drunken driving campaigns, as well as information about emergencies.

Set to be primarily made of brick to match the police station, it would stand on the west side of the building.

The station has been without a monument sign since 2016, when the old sign was removed to make way for a statue honoring police officers.

Abernathy said she didn't object to the sign for the police station, especially because its funding would come from a departmental account with money from seized assets as opposed to village savings.

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