In the end, the original plan for park signs didn’t hold up to public scrutiny. At their regular April 9th meeting the Mill Creek City Council decided that the current plan for park signs was not well conceived, and that City staff should come up with another plan.
The 2006 Wayfinding Sign Program was meant to provide a common design for all signs in Mill Creek. At the time the City had just adopted a new logo, a number of the old wooden signs around the City were rotting away, and people needed way-finding signs at various places to tell them where things were.
Back in 2006 the City went through an extensive process including public meetings, Design Review Board meetings, Planning Commision meetings, and City Council meetings. After many meetings and discussions the City Council approved the Wayfinding Sign Program as a comprehensive plan for City signs. The plan called for a phased implementation over a number of years.
For the most part the signs installed under this program work well, but the park signs turned out to be ill conceived. At the April 9th meeting Councilmember Mark Bond said, “Most of the signage that went up is outstanding, it’s great, it guides people and goes. We were chugging along beautifully until that monstrosity at Heron Park showed up… We stumbled into this and we need to fix it… Heron Park is a wonderful example of wow, this isn’t what we wanted.”
At the April 9th meeting Councilmember Mark Harmsworth said he received a number of calls from Mill Creekers complaining about the “industrial signage” at Heron Park.
Harmsworth proposed that both the installed signs at Heron Park and Pine Meadow Park be removed and the old signs be restored. He also suggested that all five of the expensive aluminum signs designated for Mill Creek parks be saved and used elsewhere in the City.
Tom Gathmann, Mill Creek Public Works Director, informed the City Council that both of the installed park signs were epoxied and bolted onto the previous park signs and that there would be some damage to the underlying concrete when removing the aluminum signs.
Gathmann agreed with Harmsworth’s suggestion that the aluminum signs could be reused and pointed out the need at Mill Creek City Hall and the Mill Creek Library for new signs.
Per consensus of the City Council; Ken Armstrong, Mill Creek City Manger, said that he would direct City staff to come up with a new plan for park signs including restoring the Heron Park and Pine Meadow Park signs, and reusing the aluminum signs.
Armstrong said he would bring the new plan back to City Council for review at a future meeting.