Mineral County taking ownership of new school marquee sign

MINERAL COUNTY — Mineral County Commissioner Jesse Albright gave a brief update to the board on a project that has been in the works for several months now stating that the purchase of a new marquee sign for the Creede School District may need some additional help from the county.

For the past several months, resident Ashley Twite has raised funds for a new digital marquee sign to be placed at the end of the road leading to the new school. According to Albright, she has raised $5,000 so far with a promise from Silver Thread Public Health District who pledged to donate up to about $2,000.

In addition to the money from public health and the donations, Twite also approached Mountain View RV Park about more funding to help reach the goal needed to purchase the sign. The RV park is known for their support of the community throughout the years and they agreed to help pay for the remaining cost if the sign was not used for any political advertisement or other political reasons.

Twite was asked by the RV park to approach the school and request a resolution stating that the sign would not be used for that purpose and the school district refused the request. The district was not present during the county meeting and the reasons behind their refusal remain unknown at the time of publication.

“Mountain View had some conditions as far as what would not be allowed on the sign. Their conditions were pretty straightforward. They didn’t want any political propaganda on the sign which I think is not a hard request. They requested it be in a resolution or binding assurance of what they requested, and the school denied the request,” Albright said.

It was then suggested that the county take responsibility and ownership of the marquee and approve a resolution agreeing to the RV park’s terms.

“The agreement would be really straightforward about what we can and cannot put on the sign and we would essentially become the owners of the sign,” Albright said.

Albright explained that the county could use the sign to promote events, games, emergency notifications and other announcements, but that the county would also be responsible to see that the sign is updated.

Mineral County Administrator Janelle Kukuk said that her and Twite thought it would be best to identify other organizations that would be appropriate to use the sign for announcements and that would be a list approved through the resolution as agreed upon by both the county and the RV park.

“We would compile a list of organizations that would be appropriate to advertise for like the rodeo grounds, the chamber, 4-H and the messages could only be on the sign from sanctioned organizations,” said Kukuk. “I think if we did take the responsibility, we would allow messaging from these organizations with no ifs, ands, or buts at all.”

The county would include announcements from the school like game times, special events, and parent-teacher nights but would also control what is on the sign throughout the year.

Commissioners decided that it would be best to clarify what was not wanted on the sign and to create the agreement. Albright made a motion stating that the county agrees to take ownership of the marquee that will be on county land and to create a document Mountain View RV Park would be agreeable to so that the project could move forward.