Portage Common Council rejected installing a new sign at the Beasley Pavilion at Pauquette Park.
The Beasley Pavilion at Pauquette Park was built last year and first officially used by the Portage High School band earlier this spring. The Parks and Recreation Department brought the idea of the sign to the full common council Thursday evening.
The proposed sign would have been two feet high and 32 feet wide with 12 inch letters. The sign will not cost the city any money and the common council had previously approved naming the new pavilion the Beasley Pavilion in honor of George Beasley.
Alderperson Mike Charles, who sits on the Parks and Recreation committee, said putting this type of sign up could set a precedent for buildings being named in the future. Charles said there are no other buildings in Portage that have large signs.
Parks and Recreation Manager Toby Monogue clarified the only other sign with a name on it is located at the fairgrounds which has been in place for years.
“Other than that we do not have any signs like this in the city,” Monogue said.
Alderperson Eric Shimpach said even though the sign will not be paid for by the city, it could set a precedent for the next building.
“Groups could come in here and demand the city pay for a sign on a new building,” Shimpach said.
Charles added there will be a 36-by-30-inch plaque on the pavilion to commemorate Beasley and everyone else who made the pavilion possible. That plaque will honor the Service Club and Beasley for making the pavilion possible.
Alderperson Mark Hahn said the sign could be a distraction.
Alderperson Martin Havlovic suggested groups could put a sheet or blanket over the sign. The discussion continued about bands, orchestras or plays using the pavilion and how they could cover up the sign.
Marriane Hanson, executive director of the Portage Common Council, spoke at the meeting in favor of the sign. She said it could become a sort of trademark for Portage.
“People will see that sign on social media in the future and know that’s Portage,” Hanson said.
She said that even though the letters look big, Hanson argued it would not look that big in person.
Monogue clarified a few points about the sign and answered a handful of questions about the proposed sign.
“Originally the letters were supposed to be 18 inches,” Monogue said. “Then we looked at 15 inches, because these signs are available in 3 inch increments. That’s why the committee went with 12 inches. This one looked best to the committee.”
There were also questions about the sign itself. Alderperson Chris Crawley asked about the letters being stolen. Monogue stated the letters will not be removable, instead the letters be printed onto a single sign that would also have cut down on drilling into the new pavilion to hang the sign.
The motion to put the sign up failed on Thursday night 5-4. Alderpersons Charles, Hahn, Shimpach, Dennis Nachreiner, Allan Radant voted against the sign.