The North Bend Eagle

  Welcom to North Bend sign
The North Bend Chamber of Commerce, the city and the North Bend Golf Course came together to erect this stone welcome sign on Highway 79 south of town. Pictured are NBGC manager and Chamber treasurer Pete Balerud, North Bend mayor Jeff Kluthe, Chamber president Nathan Arneal, Chamber sign committee chair Katy Bode and Chamber secretary Dan Endorf.

Community groups work together on welcome sign

by Nathan Arneal
Published 10/9/13

Drivers entering North Bend from the south will now feel a little more welcome as they cross the tracks and enter town.

The North Bend Chamber of Commerce, the city of North Bend and the North Bend Golf Course teamed up to build a new stone “Welcome to North Bend” sign on the south side of town.

The sign will replace billboard-style welcome signs that sit on each of the four highway entrances into North Bend.

“The original signs coming into North Bend were dilapidated and falling apart,” Katy Bode said. “At a chamber meeting someone mentioned the idea of doing a new sign and a couple of people suggested doing a permanent sign, such as this stone structure.”

Welcome sign reverseThis picture shows the reverse side of the sign, which faces north.

Bode headed the Chamber committee that arranged for the construction of the sign and did much of the legwork in getting it planned. Chamber members Duane Ellermeier, Tom Wolf and Deanna Wolf also helped in the planning of the project.
Each of the three groups involved– the city, Chamber and golf course– paid about $5,000 toward the project.

The sign sits on land owned by the golf course on the west side of Highway 79, just south of the railroad tracks. NBGC manager Pete Balerud said the sign is a great touch to the far east end of the golf course.

"The course bought that piece of property on the east side of the course from Al Enfield last year mostly as a defensive measure to keep somebody else from buying it and perhaps building a convenience store or storage facility thereby ruining the view of the course from the highway," Balerud said. "We have discussed using part of the land as a tree nursery. The (golf course) board felt that as a major player in the local economy it would be a good thing to help contribute to this project. We all feel that this is a very worthwhile project and hope that the community as a whole feels the same way."

The south side of the sign reads “Welcome to North Bend.” Along the bottom are the words “Golf Course” with an arrow pointing down Fifth Street toward the golf course entrance. The reverse side of the sign, facing north, reads, “North Bend, EST. 1856.”

The stone structure is 17 feet wide and six feet high.

The project was constructed using local contractors. Alex Orellana of Rogers did the masonry and stone work. Dan Minarick of Steel Creation in Morse Bluff made the black metal lettering. Gary Widhelm of G&R Electric in North Bend will do the wiring.

The sign currently sits on a dirt mound, but eventually a couple of feet of rock and edging will be laid around the base of the sign, and the rest of the mound will be grass. Lighting will be added to light up the sign from both directions at night time.

“It will be a very clean look,” Bode said. “It will be nice and lit. Hopefully everyone enjoys the finished product.”

When the Highway 30 expressway is built on the north side of town, the Chamber plans to build a permanent sign to greet travelers driving along the highway and welcome people entering North Bend from the north. The plan is to leave the billboard-style welcome signs on the east and west entrances on the current Highway 30.

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