It will be the Lexus of welcome signs, one to rival all others, city officials say.
The snazzy new sign, sporting the city's new logo and a cutting-edge design, will be mounted on a platform along Hallandale Beach Boulevard and visible to drivers passing by on Interstate 95.
It will be illuminated at night to catch the eyes of passers-by. Water will flow down its elaborate screen frames, painted in varying shades of white.
There's nothing like it in all of South Florida, says Mayor Joy Cooper.
But showstoppers don't come cheap, and this one will set taxpayers back as much as $500,000.
Most cities pay far less for their signature signs. Weston, for instance, paid $60,000 for a two-sided concrete sign at Saddle Club Road and Weston Road in 2001. Two years ago, Sunrise sprang for 11 new entry signs that cost taxpayers $44,300.
"You get what you pay for," Cooper said. "We do want it to be kind of an iconic sign."
Cooper estimates the city's current sign is more than 12 years old and needs to be replaced.
"The sign we have is certainly not as attractive as it should be for the gateway to our city," Cooper said. "We need to make sure we continue to market our city and make it more welcoming."
But not everyone agrees it's money worth spending.
“It’s overkill,” said Csaba Kulin, president of the Fairways North condo. “There’s a lot more important things to spend half a million dollars on. We don’t need the best welcome sign in Broward County. That’s a waste of money.”
Then again, a sign can make a world of difference.
"The city was for too long known as God's waiting room," said Keith London, a former commissioner.
The new sign, he says, will let people know Hallandale is open for business.
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