Newton awarded ElectriCities grant

NEWTON (Dec. 19, 2012) – The City of Newton will continue developing a wayfinding signage plan with the help of a $4,000 ElectriCities Smart Communities grant.

The grant, along with $10,000 designated by the Newton City Council for the project, will allow for most of the design work to be completed by mid-2013.

“The City of Newton greatly appreciates the strong economic development program provided by ElecriCities,” Mayor Anne Stedman said. “The city has benefited from the expertise of the professionals at ElectriCities as well as from the direct financial support for economic development projects.”

The wayfinding signage project will be designed to encourage travelers on the city’s major thoroughfares to visit the business, civic and cultural areas of Newton. New gateway signs welcoming visitors will be placed at strategic locations and wayfinding directional signs will guide visitors to their destinations.

“The goal of a good wayfinding plan is to make sure that our visitors have a good experience while in our city and that they leave with the desire to return,” Newton Business Advisory Committee Chairman John Stiver told the city council earlier this fall. “Wayfinding contributes to the character, accessibility and attractiveness of our town as a viable business location and is one element of a comprehensive economic development plan.”

Smart Communities is an economic development grant program available through ElectriCities. Municipalities participating in one of the North Carolina Public Power agencies are eligible for the program, which provides a maximum annual grant of $4,000 per community. Newton is a member of N.C. Municipal Power Agency 1, which consists of 19 cities and towns in the western and piedmont regions of the state.