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Rohnert Park's new digital sign should be finished by Sept. 1.                                         (Courtesy of Rohnert Park)

Rohnert Park's new digital sign should be finished by Sept. 1. (Courtesy of Rohnert Park)

Rohnert Park's new digital sign should be finished by Sept. 1. (Courtesy of Rohnert Park)

A reader named Frank wrote to ask about a giant concrete foundation thingy at NB Highway 101, south of the Golf Course exit. “Just off the side of the freeway a large, concrete foundation just got completed. I can’t imagine the size of a sign that would need a base this large, considering the location and timing,” he wrote. “Is it for the casino? a new “welcome to RP”‘ sign? or something altogether different?”

The answer comes from Patrick Barnes, deputy chief engineer, and John McArthur, director of Public Works. It’s one of the few big things going up in Rohnert Park these days that has nothing to do with the casino, a new digital advertising sign that should be ready to go by Sept. 1.

The new sign will be 50 feet high, with a screen 28.5 feet wide. That’s roughly twice the size of the current one, which was installed in 2003 and paid for by the Dorothy Spreckels Performing Arts Center endowment. It will be used to promote city events and local businesses, including the Spreckles Center and the Green Music Center, with the city guaranteed to get 10 percent of its air time.

It’s being paid for by Veale Investment Properties, which is led by Kirk Veale, a Sonoma County businessman with broad outdoor advertising  experience. The pricetag? As much as $1 million if city staff estimates are correct.

Veale also gave the city a $50,000 lump sum payment and will rent the sign for $15,000 a month plus a percentage of the advertising proceeds.

About 108,000 northbound vehicles a day drive past that location, with another 98,000 southbound vehicles passing it in on Highway 101.

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Send questions to the Road Warrior at Linda.Castrone@pressdemocrat.com.

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