By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — Have you ever had someone ask how to get to the Colfax Fairgrounds? Or to Evergreen Cemetery? Or the village hall? Or the school district?
One of the items identified in the Power of 10 Placemaking study in Colfax in 2012 was a curious lack of signs telling visitors how to find certain places in the village.
Now that the Colfax Sesquicentennial is over, the Colfax Commercial Club can turn its attention to other matters — such as designing and purchasing wayfinding signs for Colfax.
Mark Johnson, vice-president of the Colfax Commercial Club and owner of the Colfax Arts and Antique Mall, presented examples of the wayfinding signs to the Colfax Village Board at the November 24 meeting.
The Colfax Commercial Club also is planning to buy bike racks for Colfax to encourage bicyclists to stop and explore the village and benches for downtown to welcome people out for a stroll, noted Scott Gunnufson, president of the club and also village president.
The Dunn County bicycle trail passes through Colfax.
If bicyclists want to stop in Colfax, currently there are no bike racks for them to secure their bikes while they stop for a bite to eat at a local restaurant or shop at local stores.
The Colfax Commercial Club is going through a company called Fastsigns to design the signs and have them made, Johnson told the village board.
The wayfinding signs, which will be located at different points around the village, will indicate the direction to proceed to find the Colfax Fairgrounds, Tom Prince Memorial Park, the school district, the village hall and the Colfax Railroad Museum, he said.
All together, there will be five wayfinding signs, and the signs will be about the size of the mile-per-hour speed limit signs, Gunnufson said.
If the Colfax school district agrees, the school district could put up similar signs directing visitors specifically to the Martin Anderson Gymnasium or to the ball fields, Gunnufson noted, adding that the school district signs would have the Viking head, while the Commercial Club’s wayfinding signs would have the village’s logo.
The signs have been designed according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s sign rules, Gunnufson said.
The DOT sent an information packet and an application form for the location of the signs, he said.
The signs will cost a little less than $1,000 all together, and providing the signs is one of the goals of the Colfax Commercial Club, Johnson said.
The cost of purchasing the signs and any costs associated with putting them up will be paid by the Colfax Commercial Club, he said.
The village’s logo will appear on the signs in color, and a blue border matching the blue in the logo will go around the edge of the signs, Gunnufson said.
Village trustees Mark Halpin and Annie Schieber said the signs were a good idea to help visitors find their way in Colfax.
The Colfax Commercial Club will be discussing bike racks and benches in the spring, Gunnufson noted.
Schieber said she sometimes sees people sitting along the Commercial Testing Lab building downtown and that benches would also be a welcome addition.
The Power of 10 Placemaking study identified a number of ways to make people feel more welcome in Colfax and to make a “bread crumb” trail to lead visitors from one spot to the next.
The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved a motion allowing the Colfax Commercial Club to proceed with ordering the signs and applying for a DOT permit to place the signs.
Gunnufson abstained from voting.