Burton officials purchase electronic sign

BURTON — To better communicate with the public, the Burton City Council has voted to purchase an electronic sign to be placed outside city hall at a cost of $33,700.

The purchase of the sign was a 5-2 vote, with councilmen Tom Martinbianco and Greg Fenner voting against the motion.

Councilmnan Vaughn Smith said during the pandemic, councilmembers have all used social media to share information regarding trash collection, mayor’s updates, yard waste and more.

There were still many people putting yard waste and bulk items to the road for pick-up. This, Smith said, indicated to him there are a lot of people who are not online.

“The concern is we don’t have a means to communicate with all of our residents,” said Smith. “There is no perfect way to reach everyone. It is important for us to proceed with this digital sign.”

Councilman Dennis O’Keefe said he thinks a sign is a good idea, considering information is not transmitted anymore and people are looking for it.

At the last meeting, Councilman Danny Wells mentioned the idea of eventually placing multiple signs around the city, with one at city hall, and additional signs at each of the three fire stations, effectively covering the entire city.

The council voted to approve and authorize the acceptance of a bid from Bill Carr Signs not to exceed $ 33,700 for the Burton Electronic Sign/Installation Project.

Fenner asked if the council would have to change the parameters and re-bid the sign proposal because he felt they were unfairly turning down other bids – one of which came in under the $30,000 original motion.

Attorney Amanda Doyle said the council was not changing the parameters of the bid, nothing the council always tries to accept the lowest bid, but that they are not required to do so.

In this case, she said, the council is not accepting the lowest bid because there is a bid that fits the needs of the City of Burton more than another one.

“None of us are experts on signs so no one really knew what those parameters would be,” said Mayor Duane Haskins. “We just put it out for proposals to the experts (sign companies). We received the proposals back and that’s what’s before you right now.”

Fenner indicated he was still uncomfortable with this and voted against the purchase.

The administration did not indicate when the sign would be installed.