Alvin Walton, left, works with Dennis Holland and Manwell Picott as they build the foundation for a gatetway sign on Second Avenue that will welcome visitors to Franklin. Not pictured is Alvin Lee, general contractor for the project. Walton said Thursday he expected the masonry to be done by Friday, and the whole project done by next week. -- Stephen H. Cowles | Tidewater News
Alvin Walton, left, works with Dennis Holland and Manwell Picott as they build the foundation for a gatetway sign on Second Avenue that will welcome visitors to Franklin. Not pictured is Alvin Lee, general contractor for the project. Walton said Thursday he expected the masonry to be done by Friday, and the whole project done by next week. -- Stephen H. Cowles | Tidewater News

Archived Story

New gateway sign nears completion

Published 9:55am Friday, June 21, 2013

FRANKLIN—Another formal invitation to the city of Franklin is taking definite shape on Second Avenue.

The fourth and last of the city’s gateway signs nears completion. Brickmasons Alvin Walton, Dennis Holland and Manwell Picott of AW Masonry have been busy this week with general contractor Alvin Lee Construction. They’re building the brick-and-mortar foundation, which will hold a sign welcoming visitors to the city.

Walton said Thursday the masonry would be done today at the latest, and the rest by next week.

A few local factors are responsible for the new welcome.

“This has been ongoing for about the last 10 years,” said Bambi Councill, leader of the city’s Beautification Committee. “We’re responsible for all gateway signs. A study was done years ago, before I was even on the committee, to beautify and identify entrances in and out of the city.”

The three other signs are on South Street, Pretlow Street and Clay Street, she said, adding that if one is built on Armory Drive that would be a VDOT proposal.

“The Franklin Garden Club will probably take the initiative to do the actual plantings,” said Councill about landscaping around the sign.

She is hopeful the area will be presentable by the time of a ceremony, which is scheduled at the site for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 9.

Another project contributor is the Downtown Franklin Association, led by Dan Howe.

“I applied for a CSX grant on April 22,” said Howe. He added that the railroad company offers money for such beautification projects on a one-time use only. CSX gave $5,000, and $2,500 came from the Virginia Main Street Program, to which DFA belongs.

In addition to local partnership, some matching funds were required from the city, Howe said.

“The nice thing is the partnership with two other organizations,” he said, referring to the Beautification Committee and the city’s Department of Community Development.

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