Sign to be located off East Main Street

Havelock will soon have a new $50,000 electronic sign to inform residents of city happenings.

Commissioners agreed unanimously Monday night to purchase the 4-by-8-foot, two-sided LED display from M&W Signs for $49,709.

Chad Ives, city information technology director, said the city received four qualified bids for the sign, ranging as high as $81,180 to as low as the M&W bid. One other bid was received for $44,528, but was disqualified for not including enough information.

The sign will be built on a 2-foot-high base with two brick pillars on either side with the electronic portion to be fitted in the middle. The present plan is to locate the sign next to East Main Street just east of the 9/11 Memorial between the sidewalk and road. A date for installation hasn't been set.

Ives said that the city used average daily traffic data collected by the N.C. Department of Transportation to identify the best location.

“Some of the highest traffic ratings are located here along Highway 70,” he said. “We’ve got pass through traffic coming through town. We’ve got traffic coming from Carteret County coming into town and then going onto base, and believe it or not, you’ve got traffic from N.C. 101 that takes a left on Cunningham and then a left on 70 headed east, so this is one of the highest traveled spots on Highway 70 within the city limits.”

Ives indicated that the proposed location of the sign also fit within the scope of the comprehensive land use plan for Havelock.

“We felt this was a really optimal location,” he said.

The sign will have 10-pixel resolution and be capable of reproducing short animated video or standard billboard lettering. It will be used to make announcements to the public for events in the city.

“It’s totally flexible. That’s one of the beauties of it,” Ives said.

The sign content will be assigned by the city manager or the city’s public information office. It will be connected by WiFi to a transmitter on the nearby Public Safety building. Power to the unit will come from the recently installed underground power lines used for lights at the 9/11 Memorial.

Ives said the sign has a 10-year warranty on lights and a five-year warranty on parts.

In other business, commissioners voted to appoint Richard Hazlett as the new aircraft curator for the Eastern Carolina Aviation Heritage Foundation. The position had previously been held by Jim Stuart, who resigned for medical reasons.

Also, City Manager Frank Bottorff told the board that the city’s pay and classification study had started with preliminary results expected in December.