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Less hassle for yard signs could be coming to Normal

Approval of a contract for a new exhibit at the Children's Discovery Museum in Uptown Normal will go before the Normal Town Council on Tuesday, July 5.

It could be easier to plant a bunch of signs in your yard in Normal. Town staff have requested that the council ask the Planning Commission to rework the sign ordinance.

Town council members will discuss it at Tuesday's meeting.

Staff said some of the provisions of the existing ordinance wouldn’t pass a court challenge today.

Among the changes staff is recommending:

  • Remove content-based distinctions for temporary signs regulations.
  • Remove permit fees for temporary signs in nonresidential areas.
  • Remove the permit requirement entirely for temporary signs in residential areas.
  • Remove the restriction of one sign per street front in residential areas.
  • Remove the requirement that the sign may not be erected more than five days prior to the event or grand opening and must be removed within one day after the event or opening.

A temporary sign may not exceed 7 square feet in residential areas. Temporary signs would still not be allowed for more than 84 days in residential neighborhoods. Any revisions recommended by the planning commission would come back to the council for final approval.

Franklin Avenue bridge

The town council also will decide whether to use $202,500 in Motor Fuel Tax money to replace the 82-year-old Franklin Avenue Bridge north of Carle BroMenn Medical Center. The existing bridge is in poor condition and the town has closed the adjacent pedestrian bridge out of safety concerns.

Two years ago, the town received a $1.56 million grant to help pay for a new bridge. The total design and construction cost is estimated at $2.3 million. The town plans to use Motor Fuel Tax funds, Storm Water funds and the state grant.

Staff said design will start this year and construction could happen in the summer of 2024.

Children’s Discovery Museum exhibit

Council members will take up a proposal to spend up to $296,000 to help replace the Luckey Climber exhibit at the Children’s Discovery Museum in Uptown. A $568,700 Illinois Department of Natural Resources grant would pay for the new climbing structure that will be safer and easier to clean than the existing one installed in 2004.

There will be lighting changes in that area of the museum as well. The new exhibit could be in place early next year.

Construction for the surrounding floor, railing and ceiling will be a separate contract using the town’s regular bidding process.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.