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The city of Maryville is looking to implement wayfinding signs across the town for local attractions as a part of a cohesive city improvement project series beginning this year.

The city approved $18,910 for a design contract with Indigo Design Inc., out of De Soto, Kansas, in an effort to improve local tourism and visual guidance throughout the city.

The $18,910 price tag is for hired engineers to carry out provisions of design and create specifications for the signs that the city can then bid out to contractors for a later determined additional price.

The signs are intended to point out local places of destination such as local parks, public parking lots, downtown attractions, Mozingo Lake Recreation Park and other local opportunities for tourism in Maryville.

The tourism committee is tasked with providing which local attractions will be designated with signage, how many signs will be produced and where they should be placed.

The committee is in the early process of these decisions; the committee will discuss provisions throughout the next few months.

Tourism Committee President Josh McKim said he is looking forward to serving on these projects for the community.

“I enjoy trying to pull together a cohesive message for our community,” McKim said. “That’s what we’re in the process of right now because the wayfinding signage project is just one project, and we got multiple projects going on.”

McKim said the committee is working on a comprehensive marketing strategy for the city with Knactive at Northwest.

“We’re looking to have people want to stay here for a while when they visit and bring attention to things we don’t usually think of as tourism, like football and basketball games,” McKim said. “It’s good for the community when people stay and then buy something here locally.”

The tourism committee was formed after the passing of the city’s Transient Guest Tax in fall of 2016, which within the ordinance called for the formation of a tourism committee as an advisory committee serving underneath the city.

The tourism committee consists of nine board members who have a vested interest in local tourism.

Organizations represented within the committee are Nodaway County Economic Development, the Greater Maryville Chamber of Commerce, Maryville Parks and Recreation, Northwest Missouri State University, as well as focused Main Street renovation interests in Maryville.

Through the committee, there will be a tentative plan for each aspect of the wayfinding signage project and advisory on the other improvement projects the city is looking to start this year.

Dates for each project are fluid, but the bidding process for wayfinding signage is estimated to take place around July. The city would move forward on the contract depending on the price and if they decide the plans made up to that point reflect the goal of the project.

The city’s goal is for the projects to connect each with an overall community plan rather than tackling each project separately.

Indigo has worked other projects in Maryville over the past few years like the Fourth Street archway and the Mozingo Lake signage projects. It is also active in the upcoming downtown mural design and South Main project.

City Manager Greg McDanel said Indigo has been a good choice for the city’s projects.

“We’ve worked with them before on projects like Fourth Street and some signage we already have,” McDanel said. “We like what we see so far.”

McDanel said Indigo was chosen to provide consistency.

“When you’re dealing with visual elements like this in your community, if you can maintain consistency so that things look and feel similar, it’s a good thing,” McDanel said.

McDanel added that wayfinding is about more than pointing people in the right direction.

“Wayfinding is an attractive element to communities that do renovations. It has a visual element that ties everything together,” McDanel said.

Wayfinding has been included and brought up in a series of Maryville community documents since 2012, in addition to the downtown improvement plan that was constructed that year.

After noticing this, the board met with a number of tourism professionals throughout the state of Missouri for a consult on how to create a tourism industry in Nodaway County and the first step frequently advised was wayfinding signage.

With a repeated recommendation from sources both outside and within the community, the city is moving forward with the project attentively.

City Council member Benjamin Lipiec said the signs would have a positive influence on those visiting the Maryville community.

“We are rich in history and heritage that needs to be shared,” Lipiec said. “We want to showcase our beautiful city and all it has to offer, so creating the signage and determining all the necessary identification pieces will be a great addition to Maryville.”

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