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Designing Dalton: Contest for New Welcome Sign

DALTON, Pa. — Welcome signs for one Lackawanna County community are not looking so welcoming. That’s why borough officials want to spruce them up, w...

DALTON, Pa. -- Welcome signs for one Lackawanna County community are not looking so welcoming. That's why borough officials want to spruce them up, with help from people who live there.

When you enter the borough of Dalton from either direction on Route 6, you're greeted by a sign that says, "Welcome to Dalton, a friendly place to live."

But the signs have seen better days. They're broken, they're rotting, and they feel like they could fall over any day now.

"They're almost not even signs at this point. Driving by them, you'd hardly even know that they're welcome signs. They're not very welcoming. You can hardly read them, so it was definitely time to make a change here for us," said borough council member Eric Johnson.

"Kind of drab, out of date, needs some renovation," Kathy Durkin said.

That's why the borough signed off on the purchase of two brand new signs.

What the signs will look like is up to the people who live here.

The borough is holding a contest, and residents can submit their designs. The winner will be chosen at a council meeting next month.

"We just wanted to get something new, something that our residents would be proud of, and we thought what better way than to get the residents involved?" said Johnson.

Rod Wallace moved to Dalton from Oklahoma about two years ago. He loves his new home and wants to bring more people here.

"We do need new signs. Where I came from, we put new signs out, and it made a huge difference for the tourism and everything there. Yeah, we need the signs. It's a great place to stop. People need to know what they're pulling into. We find something new every time we get out," Wallace said.

"We love our downtown here. We've got great people in our downtown. We want to bring people into our downtown, so we thought, what better way to welcome people to have a nice fresh look when you come into town along Route 6, one of our busiest roads? So hopefully, it brings new people and new businesses in for us," Johnson added.

Kathy Durkin works at the Dalton Community Library. She doesn't think she's artistic enough to submit a design, but she loves the idea of asking for the public's input.

"Everybody likes to be involved. It makes everybody feel loved," said Durkin.

Residents have from now until February 11 to submit a design via Facebook, email, or in person at the Dalton Borough Building.