‘Cheese Capital’ logo coming to downtown banners

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The city’s Cheese Capital of the World logo will soon be part of the downtown scenery.

The Redevelopment Authority gave its nod Thursday to the city’s plan to purchase banners for Mill Street that would feature the blue “Cheese Capital of the World” logo adopted by the RDA and the city last year.

“We have some money in the budget to get more street banners and we have an opportunity to rotate some Cheese Capital of the World banners into the rotation,” City Administrator Brian Yerges told the RDA.

He said the city has budgeted to purchase about 16 more of the banners which hang from streetlights downtown during the summer and city officials felt it would be a good idea to incorporate the new logo into them.

While the initial plan was to center the logo on a plain yellow background on the 18-inch by 40-inch banner, Yerges presented several alternatives suggested by MAS Printing, which would make the banners.

One made the background into a block of cheese, with holes similar to what is found in Swiss cheese, while the other incorporated a series of old photos of historic downtown Plymouth into the background.

Authority members were of several opinions among the alternatives presented.

“I’m not sure I’m in love with something that’s just plain,” RDA member David Williams said of the original design with the solid yellow background.

Referring to the layout with historic photos in the background, he noted, “This is a historical district. We went through a lot of effort to get that designated as such and we should be proud of that.”

“We’re trying to promote our historic (downtown) district and we’re not really doing that elsewhere,” RDA member Donna Hahn noted.

But RDA member Nicole Pavlica and Yerges both said they felt that the historic background could be too distracting.

“My concern is that it is too much to take in,” Pavlica observed.

“The more you put in there, the more distracting it gets,” Yerges added, citing billboards along State 23 that had too much information on them for drivers to process fully.

But RDA member Jackie Jarvis responded that traffic on Mill Street is slower than traffic on State 23 and, because the information on the banners would be repeated along the street, the message would be more easily taken in by drivers.

In the end, the group compromised by settling on the plain yellow background, but moving the logo up higher on the banner and adding the words “Historic Downtown District” below that.

The RDA sent the final resolution for the redevelopment of the 113 E. Mill St. building to the City Council for its approval.

Yerges explained that state law requires the RDA and the council to formally designate the building a redevelopment project so that the RDA may enter into a contract with the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corp. Foundation to manage the restoration of the city-owned vacant building.

He pointed out that the city has received a grant through the Lakeshore Community Foundation toward the projected $1.2 million rehabilitation.

“Those donated funds will flow through the city to the SCEDC Foundation,” along with other private donations, grants and tax credits the city has received or hopes to receive toward the project.

The city is still awaiting final word on its application for $100,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. for the project, Yerges said.

“It’s likely we’ll get it but we’re not sure yet. It still has to work through the state process,” Yerges told the RDA members.

“Regardless of what happens with them, we have begun the bidding process so we can get some ballpark figures,” for the project, RDA Chair Lee Gentine added.

He said he expects the first work on the project to begin in June.

The plan is to convert the upper floor of the building into apartments, while the ground floor and basement would be a combination cheese center/museum/store.

Downtown Manager Randy Schwoerer updated the RDA on plans for the Wisconsin Downtown Open House event Saturday, May 14; the Taste of Plymouth Monday, June 13; and the Family Fun Day Saturday, July 16.

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