Newberg’s old street signs finding new life in community - KPTV - FOX 12

Newberg’s old street signs finding new life in community

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NEWBERG, OR (KPTV) -

The City of Newberg is recycling old street signs into the hands of the community. 

"This is a very historic town," said Newberg City Manager, Joe Hannan. "Newberg goes way back to the founding of Oregon and some of our pioneers, they're named on streets." 

Because each street sign holds its own story, Hannan thought the community should get a piece of it. 

"Periodically, us like other cities, we replace out our signs," said Hannan. "Sometimes because they're broken, sometimes we change because the reflection changes with standards."

For years, Hannan said retired street signs ended up in a pile at a city building. 

"We said well we can take them to a recycle and get the metal for them, we could throw them in the trash, which we would never do and then it was like oh hey I think I'd like to have one of those at my house and some of these, my name is there and it's the first name or a historical name," said Hannan. 

From there, the idea to sell them for $5 each was born.  

"And so then we just put it out onto the Facebook and said anyone interested, and oh my," said Hannan. 

In the first 24 hours, about 150 signs sold. 

"I think I bought 10 total signs," said Branden Garland. "I wanted main streets that people could resonate with." 

For Garland, who owns the newly opened Oregon Sports and Family Chiropractor in Newberg, it became a way to represent the community he now does business in. 

"It's kind of a piece of Newberg here when you walk in and that's really what I'm gearing it towards, to be a welcoming place, a community-drive place, and honestly a place where I'm getting to know everyone in the community," said Garland. 

Daro Powlison works for the City of Newberg and plans to take his signs outside the city limits. 

"My family and I, we're buying a family property in eastern Oregon and with that there's a couple streets and one has a river, so River Road was available," he said. "Taking it over to eastern Oregon is like taking a piece of my home with us there." 

But no matter what someone decides to do with the signs, Hannan said the idea is simple. 

"Just because it's an easy feel-good thing that also keeps these kind of metals out of landfills," he said.  

"I think it's a great way for them to kind of recycle the street signs, get them out there, and get them into good hands, people who actually want them," Garland said. "I wouldn't give them up for anything." 

The program to sell old signs started just this year and the money made from the sales goes right back to the city, to help with anything from fixing potholes to replacing retired signs. 

Anyone who would like to see what signs are still available, visit www.newbergoregon.gov/maintenance/page/surplus-street-signs

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