Story provided by City of Stillwater
This week, a new Welcome to Stillwater sign was unveiled on west Highway 51. This new welcome is a result of the work of resident Kristine Waits, who came to the City last year with a plan to more clearly establish Stillwater boundaries.
“I live on the west side of town and I got frustrated with the sign on Sixth and Western that welcomes me to town and encouraging me to come back though I have never left,” Waits said. “In my opinion that sign was three miles in the wrong direction.”
Waits worked alongside the City of Stillwater, Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT), Visit Stillwater, Oklahoma State University and the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce in order to develop and place the sign.
The sign was placed with economic development in mind.
“If we communicate to visitors and sight selectors where our boundaries lay then we can encourage growth in those areas,” President of the Chamber of Commerce Justin Mingus said. “New and expanding businesses mean jobs and money spent in town.”
The western boundary of Stillwater City limits is at Highway 51 and Range Road. However, ODOT requires that signage in the median has plenty of space, a flat surface and no visual impairments. As a result, the sign was instead placed a half-mile inside City limits.
“The sign also needed to ‘breakaway’ in case of an accident,” said Waits. “I wanted something massive but safety is more important as are budgets.”
The City continues to work with Waits and local organizations on Stillwater’s welcome signage as it pertains to economic development.
“We are always looking for citizen engagement,” said Norman McNickle, City Manager. “This sign is product of collaboration in the hopes of moving our City forward.”