Trumbull may replace Town Hall sign struck by car two years ago

Town officials are looking into options for repairing the brick and glass sign in front of Town Hall that was damaged when struck by a vehicle in 2019.

Town officials are looking into options for repairing the brick and glass sign in front of Town Hall that was damaged when struck by a vehicle in 2019.

Donald Eng / Hearst Connecticut Media file photo

TRUMBULL — In what may become a sign of the times, drivers and pedestrians wishing to stay current on town events may soon be able to view them on an electronic screen outside Town Hall.

The town council’s Finance Committee approved up to $25,000 the construction of an electronic message board near Town Hall at its Sept. 27 meeting. It would replace the brick and glass one severely damaged in an accident more than two years ago.

The full council will discuss the replacement sign at its Oct. 4 meeting.

Parks and Recreation Superintendent Dmitri Paris said the new sign would be a big help for residents during emergencies.

“The goal is to be able to get information out the general public in that spot, especially in times of emergency or for various events that would be happening within the town,” Paris said.

The old sign, with its manually changed letters, was tough to read. Its narrowness also made it tough for drivers to get a good look at what was written on the board, Paris said.

Other towns in the state have installed similar signs, said First Selectwoman Vicki Tesoro in a letter requesting the funds. The crash essentially destroyed it, necessitating creating a new one.

The new one will use technology to replace manual labor, incorporating features such as remote access via computer. It will also be able to use various fonts and colors, and will be able to notify residents of anything from storm warnings to reminders to renew dog licenses.

None of the committee members voted against the funding, although Republicans Tony Scinto and Lori Rosasco Schwartz abstained from the vote.

Scinto objected to the use of Wi-Fi to update the sign.

“Don’t depend on Wi-Fi. It could be buildings, brick, glass, interference from car radios, it could be anything,” he said. “And then you’re going to have to put a receiver out there. It’s going to have to be waterproof and you have to worry about this stuff breaking on the outside.”

The proposed $25,000 would be in addition to the insurance payment from the accident, Paris said.

“Any of the the money from the insurance settlement has been going to reconstruct the framework of the sign, and some of the initial work of the colonial (style) sign that the electronics will be housed within,” he said.

The masonry and preliminary work totalled about $7,000, Paris said.

Plans for the new sign call for rectangular panels measuring seven feet across and 18 inches tall. The sign will be about 80 feet from Town Hall and designed to be unobtrusive to the building’s aesthetic, Paris said.

Mary Isaac, a member of the committee, said the replacement was a long-time coming.

“Even back in my PTA days, we’ve been talking about trying to get something on the sides of Town Hall that would put information out there in an easily accessible way,” she said. “I think this is a fantastic option. I’m glad we’re finally doing it. And we’re back in the 21st Century.”