Wednesday, July 04, 2001

'Welcome' sign will be reworded

Group's name will be removed

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Residents are celebrating a planned change in a controversial new “Welcome” sign that greets drivers from Ohio at the south end of the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge.

        Sometime next week, the city's name — not that of a local marketing group — will be featured on the newly erected wall around the Northern Kentucky Police Memorial.

[photo] Southbank Partners has agreed to change its sign at the south end of John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge after Covington residents complained.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
        The message “Welcome Southbank” will be changed to “Welcome to Covington” or “Welcome to the city of Covington,” Mayor Butch Callery said.

        Southbank Partners, a nonprofit group promoting riverfront development, agreed to change the sign after learning residents were unhappy, the mayor said. Because additional letters have to be made, it won't be fixed until next week.

        A spokesman for Southbank Partners confirmed the requested changes will be made.

        Mr. Callery emphasized that no one has any problem with the police memorial. They simply want the message changed on the sign.

        “I think that's the way it should have been in the first place,” said Barb Cook of the Latonia neighborhood. “When I first saw the sign, my reaction was, "I didn't know I lived in Southbank, Kentucky. I thought I lived in Covington.”

        Three weeks ago, Mr. Callery said he received more than 50 complaints about the sign from residents throughout the city.

        While the sign featured “Welcome Southbank” in large letters, the words “Kenton County” and “City of Covington” were on the sides.

        Mr. Callery said the lettering on the sides couldn't be easily spotted, especially by night-time drivers.

        “I'm glad they're making the change,” Wallace Woods resident Bev Wedding said of the new “Welcome to Covington” message. “I think that's a much better idea.”


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