In a sign of things to come, the Board of Selectmen approved the bid of Stewart Signs to provide a new electronic notice board on which town personnel will post public announcements.
Two bids were received, one from Stewart Signs for $25,800 and a second from Lighthouse Signs (Watchfire) for $35,600.
Of the two bids submitted, the Lighthouse Signs bid was the recommended choice of the LED Sign Committee, chaired by Bonnie Palermo. This firm was already known to the LED Sign Committee and to the selectmen. In 2016, the firm made a presentation on its product to a Board of Selectmen meeting.
In the end, First Selectman Noel Bishop viewed Stewart Sign’s low bid more favorably. Bishop wrote back to Palermo by email stating that after he had checked references for both firms, both had favorable reviews.
The selectmen, noting the significant difference in price between the two firms, got Stewart Signs’ Joe Steier on the phone to address their concerns. Both Bishop and Hall were satisfied with his responses.
Selectman Hall made the motion to authorize Bishop to sign the contract with Stewart Signs.
The Westbrook Foundation had awarded the town a $20,000 grant toward the purchase of the LED sign. This means that the town would need to find an additional $5,800 to complete the project budget. Bishop committed at the Feb. 16 meeting to find funds to fill the deficit.
Electronic LED signs are already installed and operational in front of schools and town halls in the towns of Old Saybrook and Clinton. Messages on the town LED signs include announcements of meetings and referendum votes and announcements of non-profit organization events and programs. On the school signs are posted announcements of school events and also recognitions of awards for individual students and school team recognitions.
Old Saybrook has four LED signs, two for the schools and two for the town. LED signs are installed in front of the middle school, the high school, the Town Hall on Main Street, and at the base of the railroad overpass on Route One. The posting priority for messages appearing on the town signs is set forth in a policy document the adopted by the Old Saybrook Board of Selectmen. Messages are posted to the LED sign boards using a remote computer by town personnel authorized to do so.
Similarly, school administrators are responsible for approving the messages and announcements that appear on the schools’ LED signs.